|Scorecard:||Ireland v New Zealand|
|Player:||WK McCallan, AC Botha, KD Mills, SB Styris, MJ Guptill, AJ Redmond|
|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2009|
DateLine: 11th June 2009
Prior to the start of this game, a lot of analysts had said that this is the best possible chance for Ireland to create an upset as New Zealand were struggling to put together 11 players for the game because of injuries. Unfortunately most of the analysts forgot to take into account the amount of cricket the Black Caps play day in and day out as compared to the Irish who are out here on a holiday from their regular work.
New Zealand just proved more than a handful for the inexperienced Ireland outfit. First while batting, little known Aaron Redmond smacked the Ireland bowling to all corners and then some further good batting made sure the Kiwis reach a huge total. Then disciplined bowling and some great fielding especially by skipper Brendon McCullum (one catch and two direct hit run-outs), mixed up with a below average batting display made sure that New Zealand win the game by a comprehensive margin of 83 runs.
Chasing 198 to win, Ireland got off to the worst possible start, losing skipper William Porterfield with just one on the board. He got out in an unlucky manner as Kyle Mills got his fingertips to the ball on his follow through and the ball hit the stumps with Porterfield out of his crease.
Sooner Ireland also lost Niall O'Brien, who dragged a short of length delivery straight to Jacob Oram at mid-on. Then Andre Botha (28 off 17 balls) and Gary Wilson staged a slight recovery. Botha especially was harsh on the Kiwi attack. The duo added 42 runs before Wilson holed out to mid-off after having scored 23 off 28 balls. Botha was next one to return to the dug-out after he set off for a suicidal run, only to be denied by the non-striker.
Wickets continued to tumble as Kevin O'Brien returned, falling victim to Nathan McCullum, trying to hit the bowler out of the park only to find James Franklin in the deep. Lackadaisical running also did not help the Irish batting as John Mooney was caught unaware by a brilliant piece of anticipation from Brendon McCullum.
Finally Ireland fell way short of the Kiwi total and were comprehensively beaten in the first game of the Super Eight stage.
Earlier, Irish skipper William Porterfield won the toss and put New Zealand in to bat first. Redmond, who had replaced Jesse Ryder as opener, did not let the New Zealand fans feel the absence of the burly left-hander. He went after the bowling from the word go and the Irish bowlers helped him in all ways bowling the worst possible line and length.
The first couple of overs went for 32 and it seemed the Kiwis would run away with the game pretty soon. Then Kevin O'Brien was brought on to bowl and he brought a little sanity back giving away just two runs in the third over. Redmond though was bent on justifying his selection. He went after Trent Johnston and hit the medium-pacer for two consecutive boundaries off the first two balls of the next over.
All this while Brendon McCullum was unusually kept quite. He looked patchy in whatever he tried to do. The captain was finally dismissed for 10 when he tried to heave Kyle McCallan over mid-off but could not clear the stationed fielder. Redmond on the other hand kept on going after the Irish attack. He brought up his fifty off just 23 deliveries which also was the fastest half-century of the tournament.
Redmond and Martin Guptill put on 40 runs for the second wicket off just 25 balls. Redmond fell after this, lbw to Alex Cusack. He hit 63 off 30 balls and the knock was studded with 13 hits to the fence.
For the next 20 odd minutes, Guptill and Scott Styris (42 off 25 balls) went about their job with singles and twos and the occasional big hit. Then Styris took the lead and the next five balls he faced went for 19 runs before he was out on the sixth brilliantly caught by Kevin O'Brien. Oram also departed after hitting a huge six over long-off.
Guptill (45 off 32 balls) took up the job of the finisher in the death overs and some huge hits on the on-side made sure New Zealand finished with plenty on the board.