Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie demanded the International Cricket Council (ICC) give his country more cricket fixtures, saying that playing just two T20Is against India recently and three ODIs against New Zealand wasn’t quite enough.
Ireland gave a commanding performance in the third and final ODI against the Black Caps at Malahide on Friday with Paul Stirling (120) and Harry Tector (108) slamming superb centuries but missed the target of 360 set by the tourists by just one run to lose the series 0-3.
The Andy Balbirnie-led side has been extremely competitive though out the five matches it has played, pushing both the Hardik Pandya-led India and New Zealand to the limit before losing, and the skipper said it’s disappointing his country gets just a handful of fixtures in a year.
“It was an amazing game (third ODI against New Zealand), we did well to go toe-to-toe with them. Bitter pill to swallow but it was great. The two hundreds (from Stirling and Tector) were among the best I’ve seen. Tector has been threatening to do this, getting two in a week is special. Hope he will get more,” said Balbirine.
“We want to be playing these teams regularly, two (T20Is) against India and three (ODIs) here. it’s a pity we don’t play any ODIs for the rest of the year,” he added.
New Zealand skipper Tom Latham was impressed with the quality of the pitch, and gave due credit to the groundstaff.
“It’s been outstanding, credit to the groundstaff for creating a 360 plays 360 track. The wicket was hard and looked good. Credit to Ireland, to Paul and Tector. But we did well in the last 10 overs. Every bowler who came in the end had a plan and executed it well. The guys have played great cricket and I’m happy with the way them,” said Latham.
— News18 CricketNext (@cricketnext) July 16, 2022
The pair of Stirling and Tector put on 179 off 150 balls for the third wicket as Ireland threatened to pull off their highest ever chase in ODIs. But with three required from the final ball of the match, debutant Graham Hume failed to make contact with a Blair Tickner slower ball, ensuring that New Zealand wrapped up a 3-0 series win.
A total of 719 runs were scored in the engrossing match.