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Ireland are defeated by Canterbury
21 Oct 2014 14:02
Ireland's cricketers slumped to an emphatic 117-run loss against Canterbury in the penultimate game of their World Cup acclimatisation tour at Lincoln in New Zealand. Canterbury opener Ronnie Hira smashed a brilliant 170 as the home side amassed a huge total of 382 for six in their 50 overs. Twenty-seven-year-old Hira, a New Zealand international all-rounder, struck 22 fours and four sixes, dominating an opening stand of 193 with Henry Nicholls. Nicholls made 71 from 77 deliveries (seven fours) before skipper Kevin O'Brien (1-21) achieved the breakthrough, as the opener edged behind to Niall O'Brien. Hira shared a further century stand with New Zealand Test player Peter Fulton (57) before retiring out. There was to be no respite for the beleaguered Irish attack as Fulton and Andrew Ellis (29*) hit three sixes apiece as Canterbury added 89 in the last eight overs of their innings. Ireland began their reply in positive fashion, with Niall O'Brien and Andrew Balbirnie making 55 apiece as they shared an opening partnership of 112. O'Brien was particularly positive, hitting seven fours and a six in his 49-ball innings, but once he was dismissed, Ireland suffered a mini collapse. Will Williams (3-32) removed both openers and Kevin O'Brien (2), while Stuart Thompson also fell for just four, as Ireland went from 112 for 0 to 125 for four. Andrew Poynter top-scored with 57, sharing stands of 44 with John Mooney (25) and 49 with fellow Clontarf batsman Alex Cusack (17). However, it was all about damage limitation as they never threatened the mammoth Canterbury target. Graeme McCarter (24) struck some lusty late blows, but Ireland were eventually dismissed for 265 with two overs unused. The tour concludes on Thursday when Ireland play Otago at the same venue. Canterbury: 382/6 (50 overs, R Hira 170, H Nicholls 71, P Fulton 57) Ireland XI: 265 all out (48 overs, A Poynter 57, A Balbirnie 55, N O'Brien 55, J Mooney 25, G McCarter 24, W Williams 3/32) Canterbury won by 117 runs.

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