O'Brien's maiden century in vain for Ireland


Niall O'Brien's maiden one-day international century was in vain as a lower-order collapse condemned Ireland to a 51-run tri-series defeat to New Zealand in Malahide.

Following the frustration of the first match of the series against Bangladesh being washed out, hosts Ireland made a game attempt in chasing down 290 after winning the toss and inviting the Black Caps to bat.

George Worker (50), Ross Taylor (52) and Neil Broom (79) all made fifties for the Black Caps, but O'Brien's knock was the pick of the bunch as he anchored the home innings with 109 before falling late on as they were all out 238.

It was ultimately the consistency that would prove crucial for New Zealand, as Ireland's brittle line-up wilted to left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, who returned ODI-best figures of 5-50.

Taylor and Worker steadied an early New Zealand wobble at 55-2 to add 84 runs for the third wicket, while Broom shared a 79-run union with Jimmy Neesham (30) as the Black Caps rode out their innings with few hiccups and posted a competitive 289-7.

Debutants Seth Rance and Scott Kuggeleijn shared the new ball and the latter enjoyed a day to remember as he snared the wickets of opening pair William Porterfield (14) and Paul Stirling (14), as well as Gary Wilson (30).

Wilson had added 75 for the fifth wicket alongside O'Brien, but his departure left the wicketkeeper-batsman short of stroke-making partners.

With Ireland seven down and their chase fizzling out, the 35-year-old had his moment when he smashed Ish Sodhi (1-40) over the leg-side boundary to reach three figures for the first time in 85 ODIs.

The embers of hope were truly out when he presented Santner with a caught-and-bowled and Rance grabbed a debut wicket of Peter Chase lbw to seal the victory.