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Ireland v New Zealand
Guyana, 9 April 2007

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New Zealand 263-8 bt Ireland 134 by 129 runs

By Sam Lyon

Daniel Vettori
Vettori finished with figures of 4-23 to reflect an impressive display
Daniel Vettori claimed four wickets as Ireland collapsed to 134 all out to hand New Zealand a 129-run victory in their Super 8 encounter in Guyana.

Peter Fulton (83) laid the foundations for New Zealand, but Brendon McCullum (47) and James Franklin's eighth-wicket partnership of 71 proved crucial.

That helped the Kiwis to 263-8, and Niall and Kevin O'Brien's stand of 75 looked to have given Ireland a chance.

But they lost six wickets for just nine runs to hand New Zealand an easy win.

New Zealand coach John Bracewell had stated before the game that his side would be taking Ireland as seriously as anyone in this competition, but their top-order batting left a lot to be desired as four of the Kiwis' top five got in and then got out.


Despite uncharacteristic waywardness early on, Boyd Rankin made the vital breakthrough, Kiwi skipper Stephen Fleming slicing him to Will Porterfield at point to leave New Zealand 35-1 inside the sixth over.

That brought Hamish Marshall to the crease and, two fine boundaries aside, the number three looked ill at ease before spooning Dave Langford-Smith to extra cover.

Scott Styris is one Kiwi who has enjoyed a truly fine World Cup so far, but he failed to make the most of a reprieve early in his innings - when he edged Langford-Smith through an empty slip cordon - and fell to a fine slower ball to hand the Irish seamer his second wicket.

Peter Fulton
Fulton bolstered his chances of sealing a place in the Kiwis side
Langford-Smith's 2-41 came from an unbroken 10-over spell and the Kiwis' frustration at failing to make the most of three decent starts was evident.

And it was only a precursor for what was to come from Craig McMillan, who fired a huge straight six off Rankin but fell for a 29-ball 22 when he drilled a Kyle McCallan delivery straight at Trent Johnston at gully.

While Fulton remained, though, the Kiwis looked capable of posting a big score, even with he and Oram happy to milk the middle overs for ones and twos.

The pair shared a conservative 54-run partnership but when McCallan (2-35) snared Fulton lbw with a full and flat delivery, New Zealand's hopes of posting a big score looked in trouble.

It got worse for the Kiwis when a short rain delay clearly did for Oram's concentration and the big-hitter drilled White (2-45) to long-on to go for 20.

Ireland were enjoying a dream day in the field, and the Kiwis lost their seventh wicket when Daniel Vettori gloved a leg-side White delivery behind.

Dave Langford-Smith, right
Langford-Smith, right, celebrates during a fine opening 10-over spell
It was left to McCullum and Franklin (34 not out) to boost the New Zealand total, but with no boundaries coming in the overs between 36 and 47, their task was a tall one.

However, the pair accelerated nicely, striking five fours and three sixes in the final three overs, to really put Ireland under pressure, despite McCullum holing out on the boundary off Johnston in the final over.

And so it proved from the outset as Ireland lost three early wickets to ensure they were always behind the required run-rate.

Shane Bond again proved key with the new ball, having Jeremy Bray caught behind off a jaffa before Porterfield top-edged an attempted hook to Scott Styris running backwards at slip.

And Oram did his bit inside the first 15 as well, luring Eoin Morgan into a false shot and handing McCullum his second catch behind the stumps.

However, any hopes New Zealand had of wrapping up the innings rapidly were frustrated by an impressive stand from Niall and Kevin O'Brien.

Niall O'Brien
Niall O'Brien struck a pedestrian 30 but it was not enough

The latter, in particular, was in fine fettle, smashing three huge sixes in his 45-ball 49.

But the siblings' communication system failed them just as they were looking to up the pace, Niall calling Kevin through for a crazy run and then sending him back to deny him a half-century.

Their 75-run partnership, off 15.4 overs, had built a nice platform for the Irish - but their attempts to build on it were ended by a dreadful collapse at the hands of Vettori (4-23) and fellow spinner Jeetan Patel.

With the asking rate creeping past eight an over, Niall O'Brien fell trying to score quick runs when he holed out to Oram at deep midwicket off Patel.

Patel struck again, trapping Johnston plumb in front, while Vettori caught both Andrew White and Peter Gillespie on the crease before bowling vice-captain McCallan.

And Rankin lasted just one delivery to Vettori as the spinner claimed his fourth scalp, New Zealand wrapping up victory to move to the top of the Super 8 table on net run-rate and continuing their 100% record at this tournament.


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