New Zealand's Bracewell breaks Ireland hearts in ODI thriller

·2-min read

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 at Malahide on Sunday.

New Zealand, chasing 301 to win, were facing the prospect of a first defeat by Ireland at 120-5 -- when Bracewell came in -- and 217-8.

And the Black Caps, the world's top-ranked side in 50-over cricket, still needed 20 runs off the last over with only one wicket standing to beat the previous ODI best of 18 set by England against Australia in 1987.

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

The 31-year-old left-hander, appearing in just his fourth ODI, 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, including 10 fours and seven sixes.

"The way Michael held his composure with the tail was outstanding, it was a special knock," New Zealand captain Tom Latham told reporters.

This was another agonising reverse for Ireland following a four-run defeat by India four runs in a Twenty20 international at the same County Dublin venue last month.

"It is a pretty sombre dressing room at the moment," said dejected Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie as he reflected on his side's failure to follow-up the Irish rugby team's win over New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday.

"We did everything right from most of it, but the last 10 overs Michael played really well... We have put in a good performance, but we are in the results business and being 1-0 down hurts."

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, whose uncles Brendon and John, together with cousin Doug, have all played international cricket, still shared key stands of 61 with Ish Sodi (25) and 64 with Lockie Ferguson (eight) for the seventh and ninth wickets respectively.

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 eighth fifty in his last 11 ODI innings -- to a hundred off 109 balls including 13 fours and two sixes.

The teams return to Malahide for the second game in 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

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