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Otago beat Ireland by three wickets
23 Oct 2014 10:10
Jesse Ryder's brutal assault on Ireland's seamers saw Otago defeat the tourists by three wickets in the final match of their World Cup acclimatisation tour of Australia and New Zealand in Lincoln. The 30 year-old - who played twice for Ireland as an overseas professional back in 2007 - clubbed 18 fours and six sixes as he raced to 136 in just 57 deliveries. Chasing Ireland’s total of 248 for eight, Otago lost Ryan Duffy (1), Michael Bracewell (1) and Aaron Redmond (6) inside the first eight overs, but thanks to Ryder's pyrotechnics there was already 80 on the board. The New Zealand international added a further 106 in just 10.3 overs with Iain Robertson, who was content to play second fiddle as Ryder destroyed the Ireland attack. His dismissal, caught by John Mooney off George Dockrell, gave the visitors some hope as Andrew McBrine (2-38) dismissed Iain Robertson (53) and Derek de Boorder (2). However, Nick Beard's unbeaten 24, helped by Sam Wells (20) ensured Otago got over the line with three wickets and 109 deliveries to spare.
Ireland's total of 248 for eight, came primarily from two significant partnerships. Andrew Balbirnie scored his third half-century of the tour, top-scoring with 59 from 80 balls, including seven fours.
The Middlesex man added 75 for the third wicket with Andrew Poynter (38), after the early wickets of Niall O'Brien (12) and Stuart Thompson (6). Both fell in quick succession to Roald Badenhorst (2-24), and when skipper Kevin O'Brien (5) and John Mooney (7) both fell cheaply, Ireland were in trouble at 142 for 6. Alex Cusack (17) and George Dockrell (10) both made double figures, but it was an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 63 in 10.1 overs between Stuart Poynter and Andrew McBrine that took Ireland to a competitive total. McBrine, batting at 10, hit an unbeaten 43 from 41 balls, while Poynter's undefeated 32 came from 37 deliveries. Ireland will be hoping for an improved performance when they return to New Zealand to face the West Indies in their opening match of the World Cup on 16 February in Nelson.

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