In his first ever over of T20I career, New Zealand offspinner Michael Bracewell announced himself with a hat-trick that hastened an Ireland collapse resulting in a crushing 88-run win for his team. Bracewell, playing in his 2nd T20I, thus became the third bowler from his team after Jacob Oram and Tim Southeee to achieve the feat.
2nd T20I: New Zealand Crush Ireland, Take 2-0 Lead
Chasing a stiff 172 to win and keep the series alive, Ireland slumped to a sorry 54/7 before Mark Adair fanned the flames with two fours and a six off successive deliveries from legspinner Ish Sodhi in the 12th over. Two more boundaries in the following over resulted in New Zealand captain Mitchell Santner throwing the ball to Bracewell to bowl the 14th over.
Barry McCarthy greeted the 31-year-old with a boundary off the first ball of the over before taking a single. Adair then went for a big hit but found Glenn Phillips in the deep to hole out on 27 off 22.
McCarthy then went for a slog but he too found Phillips at deep midwicket to be caught for 11 off 8 off the next delivery. And then Craig Young ended up slicing a short delivery to Sodhi at short third man for a first-ball duck and giving Bracewell his hat-trick.
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He finished with figures of 3/5 from 0.5 overs.
Ireland thus were bowled out for 91 in 13.5 overs with New Zealand taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match T20I series.
Dean Cleaver, who scored an unbeaten 78 off 55, was chosen as player of the match. “Pretty special day to contribute to a good win for the country. The wicket offered a little bit of variations. It wasn’t my most fluent innings but I stuck to my options and it came off,” said Cleaver during the post-match presentation.
The third and final match will be played on Thursday at the same venue.