Saturday 25 September 2021

Guptill century powers New Zealand win

New Zealand 311 for 6 (Guptill 130, Johnston 2-62) beat Ireland 279 (Porterfield 72, Vettori 4-42) by 32 runs

Martin Guptill’s century powered New Zealand to a 32-run win despite a spirited chase by Ireland in the World Cup warm-up match in Nagpur.

Opening the innings, Guptill struck 12 fours and three sixes on his way to 130 from 134 deliveries after being inserted by Ireland’s captain William Porterfield on a flat track at Nagpur. Despite sliding to defeat, Ireland showed enough to suggest they could be a dangerous side in Group B, with Porterfield leading Ireland’s chase with a 74-ball 72.

Ireland’s seamers suffered at the hands of New Zealand’s top order despite Brendon McCullum falling in the second over to Boyd Rankin. Jesse Ryder’s return to form continued with a breezy 48 with Ross Taylor (33) and James Franklin (49) also making starts.

Guptill was the rock though and after a frustrating series against Pakistan, where he looked in good touch without going on to make the telling contribution, this innings will please him and the New Zealand management greatly. George Dockrell, the much-heralded 18-year-old left-arm spinner was Ireland’s most economical bowler, but couldn’t make the breakthroughs that his hero, Daniel Vettori, did for New Zealand.

Vettori’s four wickets ensured his side were not embarrassed, but not before they were given a scare by Ireland’s top order. Opening pair Porterfield and Paul Stirling raced to 93 in the first 13 overs with Stirling giving a demonstration of his abundant talent by striking three sixes in his 33-ball 39. At that stage, Ireland looked well placed for a tilt at the chase but Vettori broke through by trapping Stirling in front.

Ed Joyce, back in Irish colours after playing for England in the 2007 World Cup , was less fluent but no less certain as he partnered Porterfield in a stand of 37. Hamish Bennett took the first of his three wickets by dismissing Porterfield and Ireland’s chase, though competitive, never really threatened from there on.

Kyle Mills took the first of his three wickets when Joyce edged behind for 41 and wickets fell steadily from there. Trent Johnston had a late dash at the chase by swishing his way to 33 but was the last man out with Ireland still 32 runs short.


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