Santner's five overcomes Niall O'Brien's maiden century
New Zealand 289 for 7 (Broom 79, Taylor 52, Worker 50) beat Ireland 238 (N O'Brien 109, Santner 5-50) by 51 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A maiden ODI century from Niall O'Brien was not enough for Ireland to claim another Full Member scalp as a weakened New Zealand opened their tri-series with a 51-run victory. O'Brien, playing his 85th match, brought up his century with a six but left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner collected a maiden five-wicket haul as the lower order collapsed.
New Zealand were propelled to 289 for 7 by Neil Broom's 63-ball 79 which built on half-centuries from George Worker and Ross Taylor who added 84 for the third wicket. Ireland kept control for the middle 30 overs of the innings with the late acceleration coming in a stand of 79 in 9.1 overs between Broom and James Neesham.
Scott Kuggeleijn, one of two debutants for New Zealand, who were missing up to eight players from their Champions Trophy squad, set back Ireland's chase with two early wickets and then spin made inroads after O'Brien and Andy Balbirnie had added 86 for the third wicket.
Kuggeleijn's promising first outing continued when he struck first ball back to remove Gary Wilson, ending a stand of 75 in 11 overs which was setting Ireland up, and from there it was down to O'Brien. His fifth six - New Zealand only struck one in their entire innings - took him to three figures off 124 balls but when he became Santner's fourth wicket the game was up. The last five wickets fell for 26 runs.
New Zealand raced out of the blocks having been put into bat. Luke Ronchi, returning to the opening position - where he averaged a little over eight before this match - in the absence of Martin Guptill, dominated the early scoring. He was on 25 off 18 balls before Tom Latham, the stand-in captain, opened his account, but was cut off on 37 when he gave a catch to cover point off Barry McCarthy.
McCarthy struck again in his next over when Latham edged behind to leave New Zealand 55 for 2. Worker and Taylor did not try anything extravagant during their partnership; Taylor's half-century came from 56 deliveries but Worker's maiden ODI fifty was a much more sluggish affair, taking 88 balls to arrive. Neither, however, converted their starts into something more substantial. Taylor popped a catch to point and Worker, after hinting at finding some fluency with consecutive boundaries to reach his fifty, picked out deep square leg.
George Dockrell and Kevin O'Brien had been especially effective in slowing the scoring. Dockrell sent down a nine-over spell for 33 - he had bowled his first over inside the opening Powerplay, conceding two boundaries, but his remaining overs did not include another.
However, a return to extra pace increased the tempo as Broom started to find his range. He took 19 off the 44th over from Peter Chase - which was interrupted by a shower - including the only six of the innings to bring up his half-century and was also dropped the next ball after play resumed. He was making a late dip for three figures when he was run-out by Paul Stirling.
Broom lost his place in New Zealand's one-day side during the series against South Africa after three single-figure scores. He may struggle for a starting position at the Champions Trophy, but this was a timely innings to lift his confidence.
New Zealand opened the bowling with two debutants for just the second time in ODIs other than their first ever match in the format. Kuggeleijn struck with the last ball of his second over when he had William Porterfield taken at second slip, then burst one through Paul Stirling who had just deposited fellow new-boy Seth Rance over square leg for a huge six.
The recovery was going nicely between O'Brien and Balbirnie when rain intervened, but on resumption O'Brien continued his aggression with a six off Santner over long-on. It was spin, though, which broke through when Balbirnie got a top edge into his helmet that looped back to Santner and Ish Sodhi trapped Kevin O'Brien for 1.
But Ireland did not sit back - in fact, they upped the tempo. Santner's sixth over was taken for 15, mostly by O'Brien, and Wilson was comfortably above a run-a-ball before carving to cover which exposed Ireland's uncertain batting depth. Simi Singh was on debut at No. 7 and probably needed a touch more composure than the charge which saw him stumped when O'Brien was in the 90s.
From there, the end came pretty swiftly as Santner had Dockrell superbly caught at midwicket by Latham then removed O'Brien - a few moments after he was dropped in the deep - and McCarthy in the space of four balls. Rance had the satisfaction of sealing the victory with his maiden ODI wicket when he pinned Chase lbw.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo