New Zealand holds off Ireland by 1 run in 3rd ODI
MALAHIDE, Ireland (AP) — New Zealand trumped Ireland by just one run in their one-day international on Friday and swept a three-match series it could quite easily have lost at Malahide.
A Martin Guptill century led New Zealand to 360-6, its highest total in more than three years. They were confident of defending it, but centuries from Paul Stirling and Harry Tector and some big hits by the tail propelled Ireland to the brink of a first win over the Black Caps.
Ireland needed 10 runs off the last over but medium-pacer Blair Tickner conceded only eight, including a bye off the last ball. Ireland finished agonisingly short despite scoring its highest ODI total, 359-9.
Guptill did the early damage and scored his 18th century for New Zealand in the format before he went for 115.
Henry Nicholls had already picked up the baton by this point and smashed three sixes in his 54-ball innings of 79 to help the tourists set 361 for victory.
A record third-wicket partnership between Stirling and Tector ensured Ireland made a strong fist of the reply.
Opener Stirling reached his 13th hundred with a boundary down to third man but was furious when he exited for 120 after becoming one of Matt Henry’s four victims.
The 179-run partnership with Tector for the third wicket set a new record for Ireland in ODIs and the No. 4 batter continued in impressive fashion with five sixes en route to a second century of the series.
When Tector went for 108, the hosts’ hopes of victory looked slim but George Dockrell’s rapid 22 kept them in the fight to the last ball.
In a series that exceeded expectations, New Zealand won the first ODI with a world record 24 runs in the last over, and the second by three wickets.
The teams play the first of three Twenty20s on Monday.
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