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

A spirited Ireland came tantalizingly close to 361 in the third ODI against New Zealand in Dublin on Friday (15 July) as Paul Stirling (120) and Harry Tector (108) scored brilliant hundreds. However, their pursuit ended in heartbreak as New Zealand held on to posting a one-run win. Ireland responded to the Kiwis’ 360-6 to end the tournament 359-9 as the visitors won the series 3-0.

With seven overs to go, Ireland were in decent position to pursue the goal, requiring 53 runs with five wickets in hand. However, Mitchell Santner gave the Kiwis the lead by eliminating Dangerman Tector. The centurion attempted a backwards swing but was hit by Santner’s cunning as the ball slammed into his stumps.

In his next over, Santner fired Lorcan Tucker (14), who dragged a delivery from the spinner with his left arm onto the short fine leg. An erratic delivery from the Kiwi Spinner gave Ireland five runs in the same over.

The equation came down to 17 from two overs. George Dockrell flicked Matt Henry’s first ball, a low full throw to the leg, to the fine leg line. There was a different twist, however, when Dockrell, 22, died of the Kiwi pacer and made a pulled-up delivery to Long-On.

Ireland remained in the hunt, requiring nine deliveries out of four. Glenn Phillips then dropped his third catch of the innings, unable to hold on to an offer from Blair Tickner’s Craig Young in deep mid-wicket. To aggravate the situation for New Zealand, the ball went for four.

However, Young (6) was knocked out of the way the next ball and attempted a risky single. The last ball came down to three. However, Graham Hume (7*) could only get a bye when he swung a slower ball out and missed. Ireland was dejected despite a commendable chase.

Earlier, Ireland got off to a disappointing start in the 361 pursuit when captain Andrew Balbirnie was caught for a duck by Henry. Stirling and Andy McBrine (26) added 55 for the second wicket to add some solidity to the innings. After McBrine also died on Henry, Tector Stirling joined and gave the Kiwis a real scare.

The duo added 179 runs for the third wicket, Ireland’s highest partnership at home ODIs. Both batters looked in brilliant big-hitting form as the hosts staged a sensational fightback. The experienced Stirling hit 14 fours and five sixes in his 103-ball 120.

Tector hit seven fours and five maximums in his 108, which totaled 106 balls. The wonderful stand was broken when Stirling hit Henry straight into deep midwicket. Ireland fought to the end but they missed the finish line by a hair’s breadth.

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

Previously, New Zealand batted first after winning the toss, posting an impressive 360-6 on the board. Opener Martin Guptill played with 115 of 126 deliveries, a knock game with 15 fours and two sixes. Guptill and Finn Allen (33) laid a solid foundation for the Kiwis by adding a brisk 78 runs for the first wicket.

There it is! ODI 100 #18 for @Martyguptil! Get it with six from a free hit. 60+ are now partnering with Henry Nicholls as they take the team to over 200 overall. 35 overs gone at Malahide. LIVE scoring | #IREvNZ

In fifth place was Henry Nicholls with 79 of 54 balls, while Phillips hit with 47 of 30 balls. Cameos from Michael Bracewell (21* out of 16) and Santner (14* out of 10) saw New Zealand nearly fail to reach 360 as Ireland came close to overtaking them. Spirited Ireland suffer heartbreaking 1-run loss in chase of 361 against New Zealand despite Stirling, Tector tons

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