New Zealand became the first team to book a spot in the semifinals, as they defeated Ireland by 35 runs. Kane Williamson was the architect of the Kiwis’ win with a 35-ball 61, and was named as the Player of the Match.

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Earlier in the game, Ireland won the toss and decided to bowl first. Finn Allen got New Zealand off with a great start, hitting three boundaries in an over on either side of the strip to welcome legspinner Gareth Delany. However, Allen’s stay was shortened after Mark Adair sent him back to the pavilion, but his cameo of 18-ball 32 helped out of form Kane Williamson to find his groove.

Williamson then accelerated his innings, providingnearly half of New Zealand’s 98 runs in the eight overs en route to a 32-ball half-century. At that stage, it was looking like Ireland were staring at a possibility of chasing a 200+ total. However, Josh Little did some damage control for Ireland, as he took the second hattrick of the tournament. He took the wickets of a well set Williamson, and finishers Jimmy Neesham and Mitch Santner, to help Ireland restrict the Kiwis to 185/6.

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Ireland were off to a slow start, but it was on the introduction of spinners on both ends by Williamson after the powerplay, that the Irish batters accelerated their innings. After the powerplay, Stirling and Balbirnie turned a meagre start of 39/0 into a strong platform of 68/0 in the span of 12 balls. Mitchell Santner conceded 13 runs in his first over, including a six and a four, while Ish Sodhi conceded 16 runs with two maximums, with both Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie doing the damage.

However, Santner and Sodhi quickly made their comebacks from their horror starts, slowing down their deliveries to make things difficult for even the experienced Irish openers. Sodhi tricked Stirling with a slower googly six balls later to knock back his off-stump. The spinners each finished their spells with two wickets each with Santer leaking 26 runs and Sodhi conceding 31 runs in their four over spells.

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Ireland’s prospects of pulling off the enormous chase were gravely undermined by their middle order collapse, losing 5 wickets for 35 runs between overs 9 and 15. It was always going to be difficult for the lower order to get Ireland the 82 off the final five overs they required. Ferguson and Southee each took two wickets to finish the lower-order, to defeat Ireland by 35 runs.