Morning Chronicle - New Zealand's Bracewell breaks Ireland hearts in ODI thriller

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New Zealand's Bracewell breaks Ireland hearts in ODI thriller
New Zealand's Bracewell breaks Ireland hearts in ODI thriller / Photo: Lindsey Parnaby - AFP

New Zealand's Bracewell breaks Ireland hearts in ODI thriller

Michael Bracewell's unbeaten century guided New Zealand to a dramatic one-wicket win, with just a ball to spare, in the first one-day international against Ireland on Sunday.

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New Zealand, chasing 301 to win, were in dire straits at 120-5 and they still needed 20 runs off the last over with only one wicket standing at the Malahide ground near Dublin.

But Bracewell hit Craig Young for 24 off five balls, dispatching the first two deliveries for four before launching a six over midwicket.

He then found the legside boundary again before finishing the match in style by clearing the rope at long-on to be 127 not out from just 82 balls faced, an innings including 10 fours and seven sixes.

Bracewell, whose uncles Brendon and John, together with cousin Doug, have all played international cricket, was appearing in just his fourth ODI and the Black Caps, losing finalists in the last two 50-over World Cup finals, were without regular captain Kane Williamson, Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell among others.

But Bracewell still shared key stands of 61 with Ish Sodi (25) and 64 with Lockie Ferguson (eight) for the seventh and ninth wickets respectively as Ireland just failed to match the efforts of their rugby side, who defeated the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday.

His maiden hundred at this level topped that of Ireland's Harry Tector, whose 113 was the cornerstone of the hosts' 300-9.

The 22-year-old converted his fourth successive half-century at this level -- and eighth in his last 11 ODI innings -- to a hundred off 109 balls including 13 fours and two sixes

Ireland, without coach Heinrich Malan due to Covid-19, were struggling when Tector came in at 26-2.

But having played himself in against testing opening spells from Ferguson and fellow quick Matt Henry during a 71-ball fifty, he completed a 109-ball hundred in some style with four successive fours off seamer Blair Tickner.

The bowler, however, had his revenge when he dismissed Tector to leave Ireland 251-6 in the 44th over.

Ferguson took 2-44 in his first ODI since March 2020.

The teams return to Malahide for the second of a three-match series on Tuesday.

Brief scores

Ist ODI at Malahide

Ireland 300-9, 50 overs (H Tector 113) v New Zealand 305-9, 49.5 overs (M Bracewell 127 no, M Guptill 51; C Campher 3-49)

Result: New Zealand won by one wicket

Series: New Zealand lead three-match series 1-0