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14-May-2017 05:00:00 GMT
Ireland v New Zealand, 2nd match, Dublin

New Zealand starts as favourite against Ireland

Dublin: The last time Ireland and New Zealand met in a One-Day International, in July 2008, it was a lop-sided affair with Ireland ending up on the wrong side of a crushing 290-run defeat.

Nine years on, as the two teams meet in the second ODI of the tri-series also involving Bangladesh on Sunday, New Zealand will still be the favourite.

With Ireland on the brink of Test status, this series assumes great significance. It also matters to New Zealand, who is aiming to retain its fourth spot in the ODI rankings.

Tom Latham is leading a new-look New Zealand side with some first-choice players unavailable, though for the ones who are in this squad as well as in the ICC Champions Trophy squad, this series will serve as a good warm-up.

For those not in the Champions Trophy squad also there is the incentive of 21 New Zealand Cricket contracts up for grabs next month.

Latham was handed the captaincy with an eye on the future, though Ross Taylor is also part of the side and will be offering valuable experience. The series also provides the likes of Ish Sodhi, George Worker, Hamish Bennett and Neil Broom the chance to press a case for further opportunities.

Ireland hasn't had the best of fortunes in recent times. After beating West Indies in its opening game of the ICC World Cup 2015, it has been on a downhill trend.

Ireland's most recent series ended in a 2-0 loss to England. In that contest, Peter Chase stood out with the ball and Ireland will hope the rest of the line-up has learnt from that.

The Ireland selectors made just one change to the squad that lost against England, with Simi Singh drafted in place of Andy McBrine, the allrounder. The team's opening encounter was washed out with heavy rain in Malahide meaning Ireland and Bangladesh had to share points.

New Zealand, although a tad depleted, still has match-winners in Taylor, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi and Latham. Ireland therefore, will have its task cut out but it will know that this is also an opportunity to step up and show what the players can do against established internationals.

Teams from

New Zealand:
Tom Latham (capt), Luke Ronchi (wk), George Worker, Ross Taylor, Neil Broom, Henry Nicholls, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Neil Wagner, Seth Rance, Hamish Bennett, Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne.

Ireland: William Porterfield (capt), Andy Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson (wk), Craig Young.

Stats and trivia

Kevin O'Brien is three wickets away from becoming the first Ireland bowler to take 100 ODI scalps.

Match facts

Sunday May 14, 2017
Start time 10.45am local (0945 GMT)

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