The BLACKCAPS have got their ICC World Twenty off to a positive start with a solid 40 run win over Ireland in their first warm up match at Providence Stadium in Guyana.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, opening batsmen Jesse Ryder and Rob Nicol got the BLACKCAPS off to a rollicking start with a 104 opening stand.
The partnership was broken in the eighth over but not before Ryder announced his return to international cricket with a blistering 64 off just 30 deliveries.
Nicol followed soon after for 31 with the score stuck on 104. The two quick wickets slowed the run rate as the Irish slow bowlers got into their work.
Wickets kept falling, Styris for five and then Hopkins for the same score. At 134 for four with five over’s left, someone in the BLACKCAPS needed to stand up and take charge.
Martin Guptill was the man of the moment, smashing the Irish bowlers around the park before holing out late in the innings for 50 off 35 deliveries.
A quick 18 from captain Daniel Vettori pushed the total through to 187 for five.
The BLACKCAPS defense started well, with Nathan McCullum finding his rhythm early with a wicket in his first and second overs giving him the excellent figures of two for seven off his first two over spell.
A 63 run partnership between William Porterfield and Gary Wilson steadied the innings before Jacob Oram dismissed captain Porterfield (34) with the score on 83.
McCullum then had his third scalp when Wilson was stumped for 31 with Scott Styris then removed the last of the recognised batsmen, Trent Johnston, for 16 in the same fashion.
Ireland never recovered with Ian Butler, Tim Southee and Kyle Mills picking up late wickets to have them finish the match on 147 for nine.
PHOTOS: Visit the official Facebook page for images from the match »