Cleaver Fifty, Bracewell Hat-trick Underline Series Win For New Zealand

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Cleaver fifty, Bracewell hat-trick underline series win for New Zealand. Bracewell wrapped up Ireland's reply inside 14 overs.

Cleaver Fifty, Bracewell Hat-trick Underline Series Win For New ZealandBracewell wrapped up Ireland's reply inside 14 overs.

Dane Cleaver's maiden T20I fifty – a well-paced unbeaten 78 off 55 deliveries – set up New Zealand's series-clinching 88-run victory over Ireland in Game 2 of the three-match series in Belfast. Set to chase a daunting 179 to keep the series alive, the hosts crumbled against the pace of Jacob Duffy in the powerplay before Ish Sodhi tightened the screws with his 3/21 in the middle-overs. Michael Bracewell, though, hogged the limelight with his maiden T20I hat-trick that wrapped up Ireland's reply inside 14 overs.

Allen gives New Zealand a flying start

Finn Allen wasted no time in teeing off as he pulled a short ball over deep square leg and before making it a 13-run opening over from Craig Young with a four to deep midwicket. While Martin Guptil dealt only in singles, Allen welcomed Barry McCarthy into the attack with a six over the bowler's head, followed by back to back boundaries in the first-half of the over. In the 44-run opening stand, and of New Zealand's 51 in the powerplay, Allen had contributed 35 off just 20 including all the boundary shots.

Ireland claw back with openers' wickets

It took a running-in, diving-forward catch from McCarthy – when Allen miscued finally one trying to swing across the line – for Ireland to find a breakthrough. McCarthy and Mark Adair managed to sneak in a couple of quiet overs before McCullum, after an uncharacteristic 11 off 17, top-edged a pull for a straightforward catch this time for McCarthy. From 51/1 after powerplay, New Zealand had only progressed to 70/2 at the start of the 10th over.

Cleaver sets up NZ's 179

Coming in at one-drop, he took his time settling in but quickly turned out a sedate start of 5 off 9 to his maiden T20I fifty off 39 deliveries; he ultimately finished with an unbeaten 78. The turnaround came with a spectacular inside-out over covers off George Dockrell's very fist ball in the game, before he pulled Young flat over deep midwicket. He had a few near-misses – run-out scares, missed stumping and such – but Cleaver rode his luck and forged a useful 53-run partnership with Glenn Phillips (23) and another one worth 48 with Daryl Mitchell (14) to put the team back on track for a winning total. The reverse scoop over third man for a six was the highlight of his 55-ball knock, while he managed to send two more over the deep square leg fence, reaching his half-century with the first.

Duffy dents Ireland's chase early

Paul Stirling got into his element in no time and raced to 21 off 13 with the help of three boundaries and a six that kicked off Ireland's chase in some style. However, he came undone against the sheer pace of Lockie Ferguson in the third over and sliced a sitter to mid-off. Duffy then cleaned up Gareth Delany first ball with a sharp inswinger and drew a faint outside edge off Balbirnie in his successive overs. In between, Harry Tector was beaten by a sharp direct-hit from Phillips at the non-striker's end at the start of the fifth over. By the time Ireland's powerplay came to a close, the hosts were down to 41/4 form where it was always going to be an uphill task.

Sodhi three-fer derails Ireland

The leggie joined the party in his first over itself, and took out three crucial middle-order wickets in the space of six deliveries across the first two overs of his opening spell after powerplay. First to go was Lorcan Tucker, stumped on wandering out of his crease having missed his attempted slog-sweep. Off the very next ball, George Dockrell went driving off a tossed up delivery outside off and sent an easy outside edge to the first slip. Curtis Camper picked up a single off the loose full-toss Sodhi bowled for his hat-trick delivery but ended up top-edging to backward point two balls later, trying to cut.

Bracewell cleans up the tail

Adair spoilt Sodhi's figures in his third over with 4, 4 and 6 off consecutive deliveries to force New Zealand's hand and have him taken off the attack. But Bracewell, his replacement, only hastened Ireland's surrender with his first-ever T20I hat-trick. Threatening to open a door for Ireland's comeback not so long ago, Adair and McCarthy both went for big heaves leg-side and found Phillips to perfection at deep midwicket, while Young sliced another simple take for backward point as Ireland collapsed to 91.

Brief scores: New Zealand 178/4 in 20 overs (Dane Cleaver 78*, Finn Allen 35; Joshua Little 2-31, Craig Young 2-34) beat Ireland 91 all out in 13.5 overs (Mark Adair 27, Paul Stirling 21; Micheal Bracewell 3/5, Ish Sodhi 3/21) by 88 runs.

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