Harry Tector’s maiden ODI hundred went in vain as New Zealand stole the opening game of the series right at the death against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday (10 July). Chasing 301, New Zealand were all set to go down when they were 153/6 at one stage. However, Michael Bracewell’s stunning assault stunned the Irish attack as New Zealand won by one wicket and took a 1-0 lead.
By the end of the 40th over, New Zealand needed 101 from 60 deliveries – an equation no one thought would be feasible at that point. With the runs also drying up despite Bracewell going past 50, Ireland were poised to pick up a comfortable win with the equation reading 77 off 36 with just two wickets remaining.
Bracewell then took on Joshua Little for a couple of fours and a six before following it up with another six off Young to drag the game right until the end. With 40 needed off 18, the 31-year-old reached his century off 74 deliveries. The equation came down to 20 off 6, but in what turned out to be a crazy finish, Bracewell went 4,4,6,4,6 against Young in that final over to pull off one of the greatest victories of all time in the format.
Earlier in the evening, Tector would have hoped that his first ever century in this format of the game would be enough to give his side vital Super League points against a second-string New Zealand side. He and Andy McBrine kept the scorecard ticking with handy boundaries and brought up the half-century stand in the process.
After the loss of McBrine, Tector then joined forces with Campher to add 94 in quick time before the golden arm of debutant Glenn Phillips did the trick. Tector thereafter took charge and the likes of Lorcan Tucker and George Dockrell made handy contributions alongside him to inject momentum into the Irish innings. Simi Singh’s cameo helped take them to 300.
Ireland: 300/9 (50) (Harry Tector 113, Curtis Campher 43; Lockie Ferguson 2/44)
New Zealand: 305/9 (49.5) (Michael Bracewell 127*, Martin Guptill 51; Curtis Campher 3/49)