Ireland vs New Zealand

For a brief point in yesterday’s game, Trent Johnston would have felt that his side was in with a chance to emulate Bangladesh’s giant killing act against South Africa.

That point was when the Kiwis were at 189/7 and in a bit of trouble. Peter Fulton’s 83 had taken the Kiwis to 172/4 before he, Oram and Vettori fell in quick succession. Given Ireland’s batting, which in my opinion is one suited to chase anything upto the 230 mark, Johnston would have been thinking of a possible win at the back of his mind. However Brendon ” cool cucumber” McCullum made sure that those hopes vanished as soon as they had arrived, as he shared a partnership with James Franklin which was starred with many hits to the fence. The total 260- and the Irish had lost the plot.

Ireland’s batting lacks innovation. They are more of grafters and that is why I said that chasing something above 230 would be a difficulty for them. The same Irish team would have done quite well something like 10 years ago, but they need more exposure to ensure that they become part of cricket’s big league.

Along with his brother, Kevin O’ Brien showed signs of leading a fightback, before he was unfortunately run out. Niall O’ Brien crawled his way to 30 off 75 deliveries, and when he did try to give things a push , he holed out to Jacob Oram at deep midwicket.The rest of the batting went back as soon as they had come in, and Stephen Fleming will be very happy with the way things turned out. He equalled Azharuddin’s record for most world cup matches as captain in this game- and his side gifted him a win. Not very emphatic, but it was a win all the same, and I’m sure Fleming will be content


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