Batsman smashes 136 off 57 balls as Otago chases down 249 in 31.5 overs
Ireland, playing its last match of the ICC High Performance tour of Australia and New Zealand, lost to Otago by three wickets on Thursday (October 23), with Jesse Ryder putting the bowlers to the sword while smashing 136 off 57 balls as Otago chased down 249 in 31.5 overs.
Chasing a competitive target, Otago found itself in a spot of bother with three of the top four batsmen departing for a single-digit score. Even with Ryder counter-attacking, the Ireland bowlers kept their side in the match, as Otago found itself 80 for 3. However, a 106-run stand between Ryder and Iain Robertson (53) eased nerves in the Otago camp.
Andy McBrine, the offspinner, struck twice getting rid of Robertson and Derek de Boorder (2), but with Ryder holding one end up, Otago chased down the target with ease.
Graeme McCarter, though expensive, picked up two wickets for 46 runs from five overs while McBrine was rewarded for some tight bowling and ended with figures of 2 for 39 from nine overs.
Earlier, chosing to bat first, Andrew Balbirnie and Andrew Poynter collaborated for a 75-run stand for the third wicket that steadied the visiting side. However, once the stand was broken, Ireland slipped to 142 for 6.
McBrine, coming in at No. 10, frustrated the hosts with a brisk 41-ball 42 and added 62 runs for the last wicket with Stuart Poynter (32 not out), to propel Ireland to a respectable total whilst Roald Badenhorst and Nicholas Beard picked up two wickets each for the hosts. This was before Ryder’s blitz reduced the target to a small one.
So, Ireland will be disappointed to finish the tour with just two wins from eight matches but will look forward to the return of several players over the coming months as they prepare for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. First up for Ireland are the West Indies in its first Pool B match on February 16 at the Saxton Oval in Nelson.