New Zealand batsmen Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill blasted speedy half centuries to help their team secure an easy 40- run win over Ireland in the first warm-up match of the ICC World Twenty20 at the Providence Stadium yesterday.
The left-handed Ryder opened the batting after New Zealand won the toss and chose to bat. Ryder unleashed a flurry of shots in his innings of 64, which included five fours and five sixes. He went on to put together a partnership of 104 runs in 9.2 overs with right-handed opener Rob Nicol, before his stumps were rattled by the bowling of off-spinner Paul Stirling.
Nicol went shortly after for 31 runs in the following over. Guptill then took charge of the batting and picked up where Ryder left off with three big sixes and an equal number of fours on his way to 50 runs off 35 balls.
New Zealand put up a challenging 187 runs for 5 wickets in their 20 overs after Guptill was dismissed off the bowling of right-arm medium pacer Kevin O’Brien.
O’Brien shared a wicket apiece with Paul Stirling, but Ireland’s bowling was dominated by their young left-arm spinner George Dockrell who took three wickets in his four overs.
Chasing a target of 188 runs, Ireland in reply struggled from the inception and were only able to score 147 for nine wickets in their 20 overs. New Zealand off spinner Nathan Mc Cullum struck early and toppled the bails of the right-hand opening batsman Paul Stirling with the third ball of the first over. Stirling found himself walking back to the pavilion without scoring. Not long after Mc Cullum struck again and left-hand batsman Niall O’Brien was stumped owing to some quick glove work from wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins.
Right-handed batsman Gary Wilson then came to the crease and together with opener William Porterfield began to show some resistance for Ireland as Porterfield contributed 34 runs from 27 balls and Wilson added 31 from 29 balls.
Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien also contributed a well-played 28, which included two fours and a six, but this too wasn’t enough to take Ireland past New Zealand’s total as more wickets fell and their innings expired.
Nathan Mc Cullum was the most productive bowler for New Zealand with figures of three for 25 off his four overs.