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Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs Ireland 2nd T20I 2022

New Zealand 179 for 4 (Cleaver 78*, Little 2-31, Young 2-34) won Ireland 91 (Adair 27, Bracewell 3-5, Sodhi 3-21) by 88 runs

A weak but effective 55-ball 78* from Dan Cleaver, and a dominant effort by the New Zealand bowlers gave the visitors a resounding 88-run victory over Ireland in the second T20I in Belfast. The win sealed the three-match series for New Zealand, giving them a 2-0 lead with one game remaining.

For the second game in a row the captain of Ireland Andy BalbirnieHis decision to bowl first proved costly as New Zealand posted 179 for 4 in 20 overs. Cleaver, playing just his second T20I, hit five fours and four sixes, and stayed on until the end after coming in to set up a night stand at No.3 in the fifth over.

Then New Zealand’s well-rounded bowling unit did the rest, helped in part by some unnecessary aggressive shots or risky runs by Ireland’s batsmen. Had it not been for a 37-run eighth-wicket stand between Mark Adair and Barry McCarthy, Ireland’s total could have been well short of the final score of 91.

The spin twins Ish Sodhi and Michael Bracewell were the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand, taking three wickets each. Sodhi’s scalp of Curtis Campher, Lorcan Tucker and George Dockrell broke Ireland’s back in the middle overs, leaving them with figures of 3 for 21, but Bracewell had the biggest smile by the end of the game since clearing the tail of Ireland with three wickets in. three balls, making him only the third New Zealand bowler after Jacob Oram and Tim Southee to achieve a T20I hat-trick.

The Spinners headline the Irish collapse

Ireland’s chase of 180 started with some potential as Mitchell Sandner was overwhelmed by Paul Sterling for a six and a four in the very first over. Then, when Lockie Ferguson was dispatched by Stirling for another four through the covers, it appeared that Ireland’s opener could be the big man around whom the rest of Ireland’s batsmen could rally.

However, three balls after Ferguson’s four, Sterling fell cutting a plate down the middle and then the floodgates opened. At the other end, Jacob Duffy had Gareth Delany bowled for a first-ball duck in the fourth over with the batsman failing to get in front of a full ball and Harry Tector then paid the price for being impatient, running in a direct -hit by Glenn Phillips at cover while trying to get the fielder for a quick single.

Having gone from 23 not out to 27 for 3 in the space of eight deliveries, it was up to prodigies Campher and Balbirnie to strike a partnership, but the latter was next, and it became Duffy’s second scalp. Duffy went to goal, cleared the ball in overcast conditions and all Balbirnie could do was get past Cleaver with the gloves on. After a quiet – and rare wicketless – over, Sodhi came between the wickets in his first over of the game.

Tucker tried to sweep the leg, only to lose track of where the errant ball went. He had dribbled past him to the keeper, and as Tucker tried to nip one in, thinking the ball had gone elsewhere, he was stuck. On the next ball, Sodhi brought a slip fielder for the new batsman and Dockrell gave it to James Neesham at the crease.

With the score at 45 for 6 and the ESPNcricinfo predictor giving Ireland less than a 1% chance of victory, the pressure was on from Ireland’s lower order. Mark Adair, in particular, hit some mouth-watering knocks after Campher became Sodhi’s third (and seventh) wicket. Adair took 4, 4, 6 off Sodhi’s third to spoil the otherwise tidy bowling figures and then drilled Neesham over his head for another boundary. His eighth wicket partner Barry McCarthy hit Neesham and Bracewell for a couple of fours.

But Bracewell’s offbreak had Adair caught at deep midwicket for a 27-ball 22, and with the batsmen going, McCarthy was also out off the next ball, stranded in the same area. In a hat-trick, Bracewell had better luck than Sodhi, picking up his third wicket in three balls as No.11 Craig Young tried to clear cover, only to clip a plate behind point, ending the Ireland’s innings on 91.

Cleaver follows in his cousin’s footsteps
Having made his T20I debut at the age of 30 just two days ago, it was another chance for Cleaver to make the most of the opportunity to bat at New Zealand’s No.3 with the senior batsmen rested for the T20Is. Coming into a position favored by first cousin Kane Williamson – after the fall of Finn Allen’s wicket, Cleaver got off to a quiet start but continued to pick up the pace until the 20th over.

Allen’s blitz at the top allowed New Zealand to reach 40 for no loss after four overs, but he fell to a 20-ball 35 trying to get McCarthy in the fifth over. With Martin Guptill struggling with his schedule and Cleaver playing but missing the swinging deliveries offered by the Irish seamer, it looked as if the hosts would put yet more pressure on New Zealand’s top order as the first T20I.

But Cleaver grew in confidence, particularly trusting the bounce offered to play the pull on several occasions to eventually escape the blocks. Even with Guptill falling for an 11-ball 17 in the ninth over, Cleaver moved at a strike rate below 110 to move into his twenties in company with Phillips for the third wicket. Together, they added 53 in 5.2 overs, and as Cleaver’s confidence grew, so did his shot selection. He took McCarthy for a smart six over the keeper once, then played a deliberate piece to beat the fielder at deep point.

However, Cleaver was given a reprieve on the 40 when he went down the ground on a Dockrell slider, only to miss it. But keeper Tucker failed to grab it and Cleaver didn’t give any more chances. He picked Adair’s two slower balls in the 16th over well enough to hit them for boundaries, then brought up his maiden half-century in 39 balls with a six over deep midwicket. Daryl Mitchell, the No.5, contributed just 14 runs in his 48 runs with Cleaver, leaving the in-form man to enjoy most of the strike.

Cleaver went on to hit Young for a six in the 18th over, then hit Josh Little for three fours in four balls in the 19th and got his final boundary off the penultimate ball of the innings by cutting a square behind the square on the off side . . In all, New Zealand made 50 off the last five and Cleaver finished unbeaten on 78 off 55 balls. His performance eventually eclipsed the Sodhi-Bracewell efforts in the second innings to earn him the man of the match award as well.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs Ireland 2nd T20I 2022

Source link Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs Ireland 2nd T20I 2022

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