T20 World Cup’22, IRE vs NZ: NZ wins by 35 runs!

T20 World Cup’22, IRE vs NZ: New Zealand 185 for 6 (Williamson 61, Allen 32, Little 3-22, Delany 2-30) beat Ireland 150 for 9 (Stirling 37, Balbirnie 30, Ferguson 3-22, Santner 2-26, Southee 2-29, Sodhi 2-31) by 35 runs New Zealand almost secured a spot in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup thanks to […]

  • Sinchan Saha | November 4, 2022 | 2:00 pm

T20 World Cup’22, IRE vs NZ: New Zealand 185 for 6 (Williamson 61, Allen 32, Little 3-22, Delany 2-30) beat Ireland 150 for 9 (Stirling 37, Balbirnie 30, Ferguson 3-22, Santner 2-26, Southee 2-29, Sodhi 2-31) by 35 runs

Image Source: IndiaTV News

New Zealand almost secured a spot in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup thanks to Kane Williamson’s timely return to form with a score of 61 off 35 balls. In a match that was practically a must-win, they won comfortably against Ireland, increasing their already high net run rate.Their NRR increased by 35 runs to 2.113, comfortably ahead of England (0.547) and Australia (-0.304), both of whom are vying for a tie with New Zealand on points.

With openers Andy Balbirnie and Paul Stirling putting on 68 off the first eight overs of their chase for 186, Ireland had their moments in the game, but their challenge was thwarted by a skilled bowling attack. Josh Little’s hat trick kept Ireland to just 12 runs in the final two overs.

Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi, spin twins, led the New Zealand offensive with the ball. In the middle overs, their precise changes of pace teased and foxed the Irish batsmen. However, Williamson had responded to his critics long before that, finishing the game despite a typically quiet start with a strike rate of 174.28.


Conway gets stuck, Allen races away

On a pitch that appeared to be moving slowly, Devon Conway had trouble getting going. He had only scored 19 runs out of 28 balls, including 14 dots, by the halfway point of the innings. He tried to make room, drive down the field, loft over the infield, and even move the ball around, but nothing worked.

But Finn Allen, his partner in the opening, appeared to be batting on a different pitch. He pounced when Ireland introduced spin, tucking into Gareth Delany in the fourth over after scoring six runs off his first eight balls. He went over mid-off, drilled a drive down the ground, and lifted over cover from the leg spinner.

In the following over, he hit Little for a fourth, and in the powerplay’s final over, he hit a six and a four off Mark Adair. He fell for 32 off 18, driving the following ball to mid-off at a catchable height just as it appeared that he would take the game away from Ireland.

Williamson hits back in crucial match

Williamson began the innings in typical style:He scored one boundary and hit 15 balls in a row. But in the 11th over, when he attacked Fionn Hand, things started to change. He hit a four over the bowler’s head and then pulled over the fine leg boundary.

Glenn Phillips’ cameo of 17 from nine balls provided Williamson with brief support, but the New Zealand captain took it upon himself to ensure that his team reached a competitive total. He reached fifty with a slog-sweep for six, just like he did in Dubai in the T20 World Cup final last year, when he helped New Zealand win despite a slow start.

He went from 30 off 23 balls to 50 off 32 balls, which is the same number of balls as in the 2021 final. Before losing the first of three consecutive wickets to Little in the final over, Williamson slog-sweeped Barry McCarthy for six, hacked him for four over short third, and once more swung him over deep midwicket for six in the 18th over.

Little’s big show 

Little, a left-arm seamer, remained the bright spot for Ireland’s bowlers during a disappointing campaign. New Zealand were 174 for 3 with 11 balls remaining, and took steps to push past 200 when Little sacked his full go-around, the second of this competition after Karthik Meiyappan’s work for UAE against Sri Lanka in the main round.

Williamson pulled, only to discover a fine leg, as Little slapped one short at Williamson. Little had a little luck the next ball when a length ball that was a touch low beat James Neesham’s attempt at a leg-side swing and caught him in front. Neesham reviewed with nothing at stake, but he did so in the hope that the lbw decision could be reversed. After Santner missed a flick and reviewed the ensuing lbw decision, Little angled one into Santner, completing the hat trick. However, replays confirmed that the ball was on course to hit the middle stump.

After Curtis Campher’s four wickets in four balls against the Netherlands at last year’s T20 World Cup, Little became only the second bowler from Ireland to score a hat trick in T20Is. Little finished the tournament with 11 wickets.

Santner, Sodhi turn the screws

Ireland got off to a solid start thanks to Stirling and Balbirnie. The powerplay only resulted in 39 runs, but when Williamson introduced spin, things started to change. Santner hit his first four and six off Stirling in the seventh over, and Balbirnie hit two sixes off Sodhi in the eighth; Ireland scored 29 runs during those two innings.

However, in the ninth over, Santner changed tactics, slowed the ball down in the air, and Balbirnie chopped on the first pitch. Harry Tector spooned a catch to point off a loopy and slow Santner ball in the 11th over, after which Sodhi cleaned up Stirling with a googly to begin the tenth over.

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From the 10th over on, Santner and Sodhi joined to bowl five overs and surrender only 26 runs, while catching three wickets. Ireland’s momentum was derailed by that phase of the game, and they ended up 150 for 9 at the end.