BLACKCAPS edge out impressive Irish

Martin Guptill hit a century and Daniel Vettori took four wickets as the BLACKCAPS defeated Ireland by 32 runs in the ICC Cricket World Cup warm up match against Ireland in Nagur.

Chasing BLACKCAPS 311-6 Ireland put up a heck of a fight to run the BLACKCAPS close.  The opening pair of William Porterfield and Paul Stirling got them off to a flyer, putting on 93 for the first wicket before Stirling was trapped LBW by Vettori for 39.

Irish captain, Porterfield, kept firing, hitting eight boundaries and six before falling on 73 off the bowling of Hamish Bennett.

Former English international Ed Joyce made a steady 41 with an athletic diving catch behind the stumps by Brendon McCullum ending his night.  Andre Botha didn’t stick around, becoming Vettori’s second victim.

The loss of wickets allowed the BLACKCAPS to build pressure forcing Ireland to take the power play.  However, it didn’t work with Kevin O’Brien failing to clear mid-on to give Bennett another wicket and Kyle Mills also knocking over Niall O’Brien to have them teetering on 225-6. 

Vettori then struck twice in two balls, both LBW, reducing Ireland to 240 for seven and finish with figures of four for 42.  Then is was Mills' turn as he picked up his third wicket, George Dockrell, to end with a respectable return of three for 52.

Some big hitting from Trent Johnston (33) closed the gap but by that stage a win was unlikely.

The final wicket came in the 48th over off Jesse Ryder’s second ball with the Irish ending up on a respectable 277 all out.

Earlier, Guptill top scored, striking a magnificent 130 off 133 deliveries on a day when none of his team mates could get past 50.

The BLACKCAPS lost Brendon McCullum early with tall Ireland fast bowler Boyd Ranking ripping out his middle stump for just one run.

The early loss didn’t faze Jesse Ryder, who along with Guptill put on 79 for the second wicket – 48 off them coming from Ryder’s blade.

Ryder was slightly confused by his dismissal, chipping one to short cover.  He stood his ground, questioning whether the ball carried but the umpire raised his finger.

Ross Taylor came and went for a glitzy 33 before James Franklin joined Guptill for the partnership of the match.

The pair came together with the score on 144 for three and took the total 248 before Franklin perished on 49.

With three overs to go Guptill attempted a fourth six but was just short, caught on the boundary, ending his superb knock.

Scott Styris (29*) capped an excellent innings with two massive sixes to propel the score past 300.

BLACKCAPS 311-5 (Martin Guptill 130, Jesse Ryder 48, Ross Taylor 33, James Franklin 49, Scott Styris 29; Trent Johnston 2-62)  beat Ireland 279(William Porterfield 72, Paul Stirling 39, Ed Joyce 41, Niall O’Brien 32; Kyle Mills 3-52, Hamish Bennett 2-61, Daniel Vettori 4-42)

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