Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell fashion New Zealand’s 3-0 sweep of Ireland

Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell: Mark Adair and Curtis Campher’s unbroken partnership of 58 runs off just 23 balls helped Ireland reach 174.

In the third and final T20I against Ireland in Belfast, Glenn Phillips scored a match-winning fifty for the second time in the series to assist New Zealand in overcoming a challenging chase of 175 runs. Despite only hitting one four and a six, Phillips used the Stormont ground’s wide square on either side to run for 46 of his unbroken 56 runs.

Daryl Mitchell contributed significantly to New Zealand’s six-wicket victory by making a 32-ball total of 48 that included five fours and a six. He and Phillips joined forces when New Zealand was 65 for 3 in the eighth. Their 82-run fourth-wicket stand turned the tide of the match in the visitors’ favor, and they did not relinquish it.

Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell fashion New Zealand's 3-0 sweep of Ireland

Mark Adair’s 37* off 15 balls, and Curtis Campher’s eight-ball 19* helped Ireland’s lower order advance their team to 174 earlier. The hosts scored 70 runs in their final five overs.

Ireland gained momentum at the break thanks to their unbroken 58-run partnership in just 23 balls. Still, despite an early ball advantage, they ultimately lost their sixth white-ball match against New Zealand in the home summer of 2022, dropping both the ODI and T20I series 3-0.

Phillips-Mitchell as a team

At 65 for 3, New Zealand found itself in a precarious situation. Since no team had ever successfully chased 140 or more in the 23 T20Is played in Belfast, it looked as though Ireland would finally defeat the visitors after losing three early wickets.

Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell fashion

First out for 14, out to a yorker from Craig Young in the second over, was Finn Allen. When Josh Little’s pull-off couldn’t get rid of the outfielder in the deep, Dane Cleaver quickly pursued him for five. While attempting to sweep George Dockrell, Martin Guptill, who provided the entire face of the bat to play some beautiful lofted smashes down the ground, was out for a 19-ball 25 after only managing a top-edge to short fine leg.

At that point, New Zealand required a recovery job, which Phillips and Mitchell gave them by experimenting with the field’s dimensions. From overs 8 to 13, they only managed two boundaries and played risk-free cricket, reducing the equation to 70 in seven overs.

After that, they feasted on Campher’s 15th over, which produced 20 runs and included a six from Phillips and ten runs off two balls batted by Mitchell.
With five over remaining, the necessary rate was lowered to 8.60, which relieved pressure on New Zealand. Mitchell then hit two more fours to reach 48. But he was out following an inning that included a 150 strike rate due to a bouncer from Little in the 17th over.

In 39 balls, Phillips reached his third T20I fifty and remained unchallenged at 56. James Neesham completed the game with six balls remaining by hitting 6, 4, 4, and 6 in a six-ball cameo of 23.

Campher and Adair fight for Ireland

Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie labored to 10 off 16 balls because of the extra bounce on a new Belfast field. He was out in the fifth over by Blair Tickner, who took Lockie Ferguson’s place for the last Twenty20 match.

Paul Stirling, Balbirnie’s opening partner, batted differently, slamming three fours and three sixes to score 40 in 29 balls, and he helped Ireland maintain a run rate of more than 7.5 throughout the first ten overs.

Lorcan Tucker, who was moved up to No. 3, helped Stirling in Ireland’s initial onslaught, and the two of them added 46 runs for the second wicket. Tucker was ruthless in his use of the sweep – and the occasional reverse sweep – to smash 28 in 19 balls, but both batters lost their positions quickly after each other, which led to a collapse.

Stirling edged an extra-bouncy length ball from Ish Sodhi to the wicketkeeper to start it all. Four balls later, Tickner took a leading edge to third man on Tucker’s attempted leg-side slog. When Ireland reached 116 for 6 in 16.3 overs after losing their first five wickets for just 37 runs from 79 for 1, it appeared that good innings had failed.

But Adair and Campher had other ideas after Adair scored a 22-ball 27 in the second T20I. Tickner’s statistics were ruined by Campher’s 6, 4, 4 in the 18th over. Adair then smashed a six and a four in Jacob Duffy’s 20th over, scoring 16 runs off the first three balls of Neesham’s 19th and adding another six and four.

Their 58-run partnership, at a run rate of 16.57, gave Ireland’s bowlers a significant target. However, Phillips and Mitchell ultimately defeated the hosts.

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