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HomeCricketOne run heartbreak for Ireland after record breaking run chase

One run heartbreak for Ireland after record breaking run chase

DUBLIN: Ireland suffered heartbreak once again, falling to a one-run defeat chasing 361 against New Zealand in the third ODI.

Having suffered a dramatic one-wicket loss in the series opener, Ireland were on the wrong end of another tight finish in the finale despite scintillating hundreds from Paul Stirling and Harry Tector. The pair put on 179 off 150 balls for the third wicket as Ireland threatened to pull off their highest ever chase in ODIs.

But with three required from the final ball of the match, debutant Graham Hume failed to make contact with a Blair Tickner slower ball, ensuring that New Zealand wrapped up a 3-0 series win. After 719 runs in the match, only one separated both sides.

Martin Guptill and Finn Allen got New Zealand off to a racing start after the visitors chose to bat first; the fifty partnership between the openers was brought up in seven overs.

Josh Little was called upon inside the Powerplay and delivered a much-needed breakthrough after an expensive first over, with Allen’s pull shot finding George Dockrell at deep backward square.

A second wicket followed not long after, with Curtis Campher reacting quickly at mid-off to run out Will Young at the non-striker’s end for just 3 after the New Zealanders attempted to run a quick single.

Tom Latham rode his luck at the start of his innings, twice edging Little in the 14th over only to escape with a pair of boundaries. But he and Guptill then settled in nicely, taking New Zealand to 146-2 after 23 overs.

Campher removed Latham for 30, but that brought the fireworks of Henry Nicholls, who raced to 20 off 12 balls. Guptill advanced to his 18th ODI hundred with a straight six off Little in the 34th over, and although Gareth Delany had the centurion adjudged LBW for 115, New Zealand continued to up the ante, with Nicholls and Glenn Philipps putting on 54 off 38 balls.

Nicholls was eventually bowled for 79 off 54 balls by a Craig Young off-cutter, but Phillips (47 off 30), Michael Bracewell (21* off 16) and Mitchell Santner (14* off 10) lifted New Zealand to an imposing total of 360-6.

Stirling got the chase up and running with a drive through the covers for four off Lockie Ferguson, but Andrew Balbirnie departed for a duck in the following over, trapped LBW by Matt Henry.

But Andrew McBrine and Stirling began to fire, and they put on 55 before Henry removed the former for his second wicket of the day.

That brought Stirling together with Tector in the 10th over, and so began the start of a record-breaking partnership. Stirling’s half-century took 56 balls, while Tector was even quicker – he pulled Ferguson for six to reach the landmark off 54 balls.

The big hits kept on coming as Stirling found another gear, as he moved from 50 to 100 in just 32 balls, and he launched consecutive sixes to move to 120, but his attempt at a third saw him caught in the deep by Phillips.

Phillips dropped a pair of catches to give both Delany and Tector an extra life, but Guptill leapt spectacularly at cover to send Delany back for 22.

Campher fell for 5, but Tector managed to get to his ton, leaving Ireland with the equation of 73 needed from the final nine overs.

Santner removed Tector for 108 in the 44th, and Tucker departed for 14 two overs later, but George Dockrell – Ireland’s top-scorer in the second ODI – kept hopes of victory alive with a crucial 17-ball 22.

With one over left, 10 runs were required and a four from Young – via another dropped effort from Phillips – narrowed the requirement to just five from three.

But Young was run out in an attempt for two from the next ball and Tickner held his nerve to deny Ireland a historic win.

Guptill was named Player of the Match while Bracewell picked up the Player of the Series gong.

  New Zealand 360-6 (50 overs; M Guptill 115, H Nicholls 79; J Little 2-84)

  Ireland 359-5 (50 overs; P Stirling 120, H Tector 108; M Henry 4-68).

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