Kiwis March On
New Zealand cruised to a convincing 129-run victory over Ireland in their Super Eight clash on Monday in Guyana.
New Zealand were threatened briefly but recovered to maintain their 100% record in the World Cup with a 129-run over Ireland.
The Kiwis appeared to be in some trouble at 189 for seven but a 71-run partnership from 43 balls between Brendon McCullum (47) and James Franklin (34 not out) guided them to a competitive 263 for eight.
Their bowlers, led by the left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori and ably supported by Jeetan Patel and Shane Bond dismissed Ireland for 134 with 12.2 overs left.
The result took the Kiwis to eight points and virtually guaranteed them a place in the semi-finals with three games left. Ireland remain without a point after three matches.
Bond turned the early screws before Vettori and Patel took the last six wickets for just nine runs from 31 balls.
Bond removed openers Jeremy Bray (one) and William Porterfield (11) in an opening five-over spell.
Bray's defensive prod to his sixth delivery found the edge on the way to wicket-keeper McCullum while Porterfield's attempted pull flew off the top edge and Scott Styris ran around from slip to take the catch.
McCullum then took his second catch when Eion Morgan (15) drove at Jacob Oram as Ireland slipped to 35 for three in the 13th over.
Brothers Niall (30) and Kevin O'Brien (49) shared Ireland's most productive stand with a battling fourth wicket partnership of 75 from 95 balls.
Kevin struck two fours and three sixes but just as he appeared set for his first World Cup half century, he set off for a quick single but was sent back by his brother and failed to beat Hamish Marshall's throw from point.
Niall's 75-ball innings ended when Patel had him caught by Oram at midwicket and Vettori then trapped Andre White (0), lbw with the score on 127.
Both Trent Johnston (13) and Peter Gillespie (two) went at 133 in the same way, with Patel trapping the Irish captain lbw and and Vettori having similar success against Gillespie.
One run later, Vettori bowled Kyle McCallan (0) and trapped Boyd Rankin with the next ball to end the match.
Earlier, man of the match Peter Fulton's top score of 83, his sixth ODI half-century and first at the World Cup, stabilised the Kiwis top order in the face of some steady bowling from Ireland.
Fulton, who opened the innings and was fifth out, struck nine fours in a 110-ball innings during which the Irish bowlers, led by off-spinners McCallan and White, took four wickets between them.
Kiwi captain Stephen Fleming, who won the toss and elected to bat, and Fulton shared an opening stand of 35, before Fleming (10) sliced the lanky Rankin to point where Porterfield held the catch.
Marshall (16) and Styris (10), both fell to Langford-Smith's swing while Craig McMillan (22) was McCallan's first victim as New Zealand were 118 in the 25th over.
Marshall was caught by Morgan, who had to stretch a long way at cover, while Styris slashed at a slower ball from Langford-Smith and was caught at the wicket with the Kiwis 83-3 in the 17th over.
Fulton and McMillan added 35 before McMillan tried to cut the spinner and was caught at point.
Fulton, who brought up his 50 off 66 balls, put on 54 in a fifth-wicket partnership with Jacob Oram (20), taking the score to 172 in the 39th over, when Fulton attempted to sweep McCallan and was adjudged lbw.
White then had double success, capturing the wickets of Oram and Vettori (five) as the Kiwis plunged to 189 for seven.
McCullum and Franklin then tilted the game in their team's favour with their 43-ball stand.
McCullum, who faced 37 balls, fell with two balls to go, caught by Morgan on the midwicket boundary after hitting two fours and one six, while Franklin's unbeaten innings contained three fours and one six, and came off 22 balls.
New Zealand will now head to Grenada where they will play Sri Lanka on Thursday while Ireland and Australia clash in Barbados on Friday.
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