Opening batsman Aaron Redmond blasted 63 off 30 to set up the BLACKCAPS Super Eight victory over Ireland in the ICC Twenty20 match at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
Man of the match Redmond, playing his first match after replacing the injured Jesse Ryder, cracked 13 boundaries and equalled the fastest half-century of the tournament bringing up his 50 off 23 balls.
“When you’ve got nothing to lose you go out there and give it a go. I was pleased it came off.
“I got a couple in the slot early on and took it from there”, Remond said.
He put on 51 runs for the first wicket with Brendon McCullum who was quiet in comparison, contributing only 10.
Martin Guptill came in and assumed an anchor role, sharing a 61 run stand with Scott Styris who made an aggressive 42 off 25.
Jacob Oram came and went after belting 15 off seven before holing out with Peter McGlashan getting bowled for five after missing a straight one.
With two overs to go Guptill cut loose hitting two massive sixes – one 97 metre straight hit to finish with an unbeaten 45 off 32 and take the BLACKCAPS score through to 198.
Kyle McCallam was the best of the Irish bowlers taking two for 33 off four overs.
Ireland got off to a terrible start with opener William Potterfield getting run-out off a Kyle Mills deflection in the first over.
Mills then picked up the wicket of dangerous batsman Niall O’Brien in his next over as the Irish slumped to 15 for two after three overs.
Ireland then shared their most fruitful partnership of 42 between Gary Wilson and Andre Botha before Wilson was caught in the deep on 23 and Botha run out in the very next over for 27.
A series of small partnerships followed as the Irish batsman attempted to get on top of the growing run-rate. It was too much in the end as they fell 83 runs short
It was once again spin bowling that returned the best figures with Nathan McCullum taking three for 15 off three overs with BLACKCAPS strike bowler Kyle Mills taking two for 12.
Brendon McCullum led by example in the field with a catch and two run-outs as the BLACKCAPS got thier Super Eight campaign off to a winning start.