Niall O'Brien's maiden ODI century wasn't enough to prevent Ireland from falling to a 51-run defeat by New Zealand in their second Walton Tri Nations game in front of a sizeable crowd at Malahide this evening.
It will have been a case of more frustration in the home changing room as well after William Porterfield's side collapsed from 212-5 to 238 all out despite O'Brien's heroics.
The North West Warriors 'keeper/batsman was in sublime form as he built his innings patiently after the early loss of both Porterfield and Paul Stirling. O'Brien and Andy Balbirnie (36) added 86 for the 3rd wicket and although younger brother Kevin came and went soon after, Gary Wilson (30) helped his partner take Ireland to within 78 runs of a stunning victory.
It wasn't to be however as Mitchell Santner turned the game on its head in his second spell to finish with figures of 5-50 as Ireland's lower order succumbed to spin again- O'Brien himself one of that quintet after making a career-best ODI score of 109 (9 fours, 5 sixes). Scott Kuggeleijn also impressed with 3-31 as Ireland's lower order gave way as the required run-rate increased.
The Black Caps had made a commanding 289-7 in their 50 overs with all the top order among the runs. Luke Ronchi (37) and Tom Latham (15) put on 53 for the first wicket before both fell in quick succession to Barry McCarthy.
George Worker and Ross Taylor gave their side a foot-hold in the contest after that with an 84-run partnership- both men helping themselves to half centuries in the process- before Neil Broom upped the ante with a 63-ball 79 (9 fours and a six).
Jimmy Neesham's 30 pushed the Kiwis to within touching distance of 300 but the hosts bowlers did really well to keep them below. McCarthy (2-59) was again the pick, especially early on as he gave his side a much-needed lift, however Tim Murtagh (2-62), and Kevin O'Brien (1-46) provided good support.
Porterfield's men have a few day's off now before their second game against Bangladesh at the same venue on Friday (10.45), but before that New Zealand take on Bangladesh at Clontarf on Wednesday.
- Stirling reacts to Leatham's edge
- Congratulations for McCarthy
- Ross Taylor ticking over
- Fifty for Taylor
- Taylor pops one up to point...
- ...and Porterfield holds the catch
- Congratulations for Kevin 250th wicket
- Neil Broom runs it to third man
- Top edge from George Worker.....
- ...just clears Niall O'Brien
- George Worker drives for 4
- Worker swings high to Singh .....
- ...who holds the catch
- One of many 'Scoops' from Neil Broom
- Jimmy Neesham boundary
- Another Broom 'Scoop'....
- ...and this time it goes all the way.
- Neil Broom plays Calypso style...
- ...and can't reach the bowler's end - run out!
- Jimmy Neesham high to long on...
- ...and safely held by Barry McCarthy
- It's close.....
- ...but not out is the decision
- Porterfield pulls for four
- A word of advice from Neesham to the bowler Scott Kuggeleijn
- Porterfield edges behind and is gone
- Disbelief from NZ at the Not Out decision
- Stirling loses his off stump
- Driven boundary by Niall O'Brien
- Larry working the crowd
- Niall O'Brien lands one in the 'Food Village'
- ..this time it's the Hospitality Tent
- Andrew Balbirnie wrong foots Kiwi captain Tom Latham
- Ish Sodhi bowling his leg spin
- Balbirnie sweeps but the ball is on its way back to Santner..
- ...who holds the catch ....
- ..Kiwi joy
- Seth Rance bowling
- Despair for Gary Wilson as he punches Kuggeleijn to Ross Taylor.
- Singh and O'Brien making plans
- Simi stranded...
- Simi Stumped
- Back but too late
- Niall O'Brien to 100 in the grand manner
- Salute to the dressing room
- McCarthy chips Santner in the air...
- ...andLatham holds another
- Peter Chase is struck in front.....
- Nigel Llong signals the end..
- ...just the handshakes to go