Spirited Ireland suffer heartbreaking 1-point loss in 361 chase against New Zealand despite tons of Stirling and Tector

Spirited Ireland nearly beat 361 points in the third ODI against New Zealand in Dublin on Friday July 15, as Paul Stirling (120) and Harry Tector (108) reached hundreds of points. However, their chase ended in heartbreak as New Zealand hung on to register a one-point win. Responding to the Kiwis’ 360-6, Ireland finished on 359-9 as the visitors won the series 3-0.

With seven overs to go, Ireland were in a decent position to chase the target, needing 53 runs with five wickets in hand. Mitchell Santner, however, put the Kiwis in the ascendancy by clearing dangerman Tector. The Centurion attempted a reverse sweep but was beaten by Santner’s trickery as the ball crashed into his stumps.

In his next class, Santner fired 14-year-old Lorcan Tucker, who trailed a left-arm spinner delivery to the short, thin leg. A wayward delivery from the Kiwi spinner gave Ireland five runs in the same over.

The equation boiled down to 17 on two overs. George Dockrell threw Matt Henry’s first pitch, a low leg throw, to the thin leg limit. However, there was another twist, as Dockrell (22) perished to Kiwi pace, sending a long-range high delivery.

Ireland remained in the hunt, requiring nine out of four deliveries. Glenn Phillips then dropped his third hold of the innings, failing to hold on to a bid from Craig Young against Blair Tickner in the middle of the wicket. To make matters worse for New Zealand, the ball went for four.

Young (6), however, was exhausted on the next ball, attempting a risky single. He went down to three on the last ball. Graham Hume (7*), however, could only get a pass as he swung and missed a slower ball on the outside. Ireland were discouraged despite a commendable pursuit.

Earlier, chasing 361, Ireland got off to a disappointing start as captain Andrew Balbirnie was trapped by Henry for a duck. Stirling and Andy McBrine (26) added 55 for the second wicket to solidify the innings. After McBrine also perished for Henry’s benefit, Tector joined Stirling and scared the Kiwis.

The duo added 179 runs for the third wicket, Ireland’s highest partnership in home ODIs. Both hitters looked brilliant in striking form as the hosts staged a sensational fightback. The seasoned Stirling hit 14 fours and five sixes in his 120 of 103 balls.

Tector slammed seven fours and five highs into his 108, which came out 106 balls. The wonderful position was shattered when Stirling hit Henry straight into the center of the wicket. Ireland kept fighting until the end, but only got to the finish line by a hair’s breadth.

Martin Guptill’s 115 takes New Zealand to 360-6 against Ireland

Earlier, beating first after winning the toss, New Zealand posted an imposing 360-6 on the board. Flyhalf Martin Guptill played with 115 of 126 deliveries, a shot that featured 15 fours and two sixes. Guptill and Finn Allen (33) laid a solid foundation for the Kiwis, adding a quick 78 runs for the first wicket.

Here it is! ODI 100 #18 for @Martyguptill! Brings him in with six in one free move. 60+ run partners now with Henry Nicholls as they push the team total over 200. 35 overs are gone at Malahide. LIVE Score | #IREvNZ

Coming in at No. 5, Henry Nicholls hit 79 of 54 balls, while Phillips contributed with 47 of 30. Cameos from Michael Bracewell (21* of 16) and Santner (14* of 10) saw Nova Zealand reach 360. It was almost not enough as Ireland nearly overhauled it.

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