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– Michael Bracewell was the architect of a dramatic robbery at Malahide as New Zealand sealed by one wicket with the ball remaining in the first ODI against Ireland.
His unbeaten century was a great century for Harry Tector and topped Curtis Camper’s all-round show, Ireland denied their first win against the Black Caps in a heartbreaking situation.
After scoring 300 runs at bat, Ireland picked up the pace with their start to the ball, with Mark Adair and Craig Young striking in the first six overs. Debutant Finn Allen started positively before hitting the former in the air, settling under the McBrien Stipler and later getting the number 3 Will Young, forcing his name to be left behind.
The visitors were 19-2, and when there were indications of a restructuring of the middle order, Camper blocked Ireland with a crucial intervention trio to keep them at the top. He first removed New Zealand captain Tom Latham, who was caught out in a full toss scheduled for a leg stump. Then Henry Nichols, before outfoxing with a hint of away seam, half-centurion Martin Guptill failed to get any bat at the pinpoint yorker and was bowled.
When Guptill fell, New Zealand’s run was 120-5, with Michael Bracewell, just three ODI caps and four runs to his name, coming to bat. He created a series of lower-order partnerships to bring the Black Caps back into the game, striking to ensure Ireland were ahead in the game but New Zealand hung on to the competition.
In his debut, Glenn Phillips contributed 36 runs before removing the lbw at the hands of Andy McBrien and kept New Zealand at bay for 25 before being run out by Ish Sodhi Camper. Ireland were just two wickets away when Josh Little knocked Matt Henry to zero, while New Zealand still needed 64 runs in 8.2 overs. But as long as Bracewell was at the crease, the Black Caps had hope, and as long as he continued to chase, the chances of a stunning return increased.
His century was scored at the end of the 46th over, Bracewell’s silent celebration indicated that the task was far away, and his task became more difficult as Adair gave a great last over, giving up just four runs and bowling Lucky Ferguson. The last ball.
It required 20 runs to win and a Bracewell strike, with no gaps for error, and he took advantage of that moment, creating an opportunity to hit the leg-side and hit three fours and two sixes to seal the victory with one ball left. His score was the highest at 6 to chase a successful ODI.
Earlier, Tector was the star of Ireland’s batting effort, scoring his first international century, though contributing to the entire batting order. The 22-year-old brought his side into trouble, with openers Andrew Balbirney and Paul Sterling being singled out and starting rebuilding the innings with a number of stable stands.
Tractor took his time to be set, choosing to rebuild safely at first, but ran more freely as the innings progressed. Sending for 40 off his last 16 balls before being out, the milestone was particularly pleasing with a jolt of strokes. Twice he led Blair Tickner to the ropes, once off-side and once on foot, nailing a pair of Orthodox cover drives before being at the crease for the next two deliveries, hitting four off four balls. He improved from 85 to 101.
Although it marked Tector’s first international three-figure score, it was also a continuation of his recent excellent returns. The innings was his fourth consecutive fifty-plus score in ODIs (a feat only matched Paul Stirling among the Irishmen) and his return of eight fifty-plus scores in his last 11 innings.
It wasn’t just a one-man show, Tector received sterling support from the rest of the middle order, who made increasingly aggressive cameos. McBrien continued to show perseverance in his new role at No. 3, scoring 39 off 58 balls at a half-century stand.
Seeing his departure, Camphor joins the tractor at the crease and the two young men form the biggest pairing of the day. With Ireland scoring just four in the over when Camper entered, the pair added some important inspiration, with Camper scoring 29 off 23 balls at the end of his innings after a cautious start. Bracewell’s off-spin was lap-sweeped and slapped over mid-off and Henry slapped for a back-to-back boundary as Ireland went ahead.
Camphor fell to 43, Phillips hitting the backfoot with an off-break to claim his first ODI wicket, but Lorcan immediately picked up the pace, slogged Sodhi in the sixth off just nine balls and added 10 more runs off two balls. The ball in the next over of the legspinner.
With a one-handed jump from Bracewell at the boundary and his out in a terrific push, Tector and Adair started a mini-fall as soon as Tucker returned to the pavilion, and it looked like the 12-3 slide had turned 12. -4 When Simi Singh was caught out with the first ball. However, a review shows that the ball simply bounced off the pads, and Singh made the most use of the receiver with a quick 30 strike. With George Dockrell, in his 100th ODI appearance, contributing 18, Ireland reached the 300-run at the end. Innings
At Malahide it was the hosts ’second highest score, and it led to their innings break. But, although they were ahead throughout most of the chase, Bracewell and New Zealand won.
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