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NZ aim to clinch series ahead of Champions Trophy

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'You always miss playing internationals' - Milne (1:04)

New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne talks about his return to the side after over a year, ahead of the tri-nation series match against Ireland (1:04)

Match facts

Sunday, May 21, 2017
Start time 10.45am local (0945 GMT)

Big picture

A win over Ireland will confirm New Zealand as the victors of the tri-series with one game in hand. Not only will they maintain the status quo over the lower-ranked teams in this tournament, their players will be better poised moving ahead to the Champions Trophy.

George Worker, Ross Taylor, Neil Broom, Scott Kuggeleijn and Mitchell Santner, who picked up five wickets, were the stars of New Zealand's first win. Then it was the turn of Tom Latham, Hamish Bennett and James Neesham, whose 48-ball 52 decided the game even as Bangladesh threatened with some late wickets.

Neesham is one of seven players from the original New Zealand squad for this series who will go on to the Champions Trophy starting June 1. But even for Bennett, Kuggeleijn and Worker, there is the motivation of being the best of the rest, just in case there are injury issues to the first-choice picks.

For Ireland, this will be a good opportunity to bounce back after their eight-wicket drubbing at the hands of Bangladesh on Friday. Among the batsmen, only Ed Joyce and Niall O'Brien gave creditable accounts of themselves, and it was O'Brien's century that had given Ireland a whiff of a chance in their first game against New Zealand. Bad as they have been at run-scoring, the bowlers have been worse at run-saving.

Form guide

Ireland: LLLLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)

New Zealand: WWLWL

In the spotlight

Paul Stirling is due after making 14 and a duck in his last two innings. A robust top-order batsman, he often gets Ireland to good starts and they would definitely need that against New Zealand.

Ross Taylor made only 25 in his last innings, but his team-mates won't be worried. They will however enjoy getting the chance to see him in full flow, as he was against South Africa in February earlier this year.

Team news

This could be the last opportunity this series for Ireland to field right-arm seamer Craig Young. He played the last of his 12 ODIs in March and has 25 wickets in the format.

Ireland: (probable) 1 William Porterfield (capt), 2 Paul Stirling, 3 Ed Joyce, 4 Andy Balbirnie, 5 Niall O'Brien (wk), 6 Gary Wilson, 7 Kevin O'Brien, 8 George Dockrell, 9 Barry McCarthy, 10 Tim Murtagh, 11 Peter Chase

Fast bowler Adam Milne has joined the tour after the conclusion of his IPL season and will take his place in the XI.* He is part of New Zealand's Champions Trophy squad and this will be his first international outing since the World T20 due to injury. Neil Wagner is playing for Essex and not in consideration.

New Zealand: (probable) 1 Tom Latham (capt), 2 Luke Ronchi (wk), 3 George Worker, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Neil Broom, 6 James Neesham, 7 Colin Munro, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Adam Milne, 10 Ish Sodhi, 11 Hamish Bennett

Pitch and conditions

The pitch in Malahide has been providing balance between bat and ball during this tournament, though the forecast of early morning rain could leave both teams wary.

Stats and trivia

  • There has been three totals of 300 or more in 11 matches in Malahide. Ireland's best is the 269 for 7 they made against England in September 2013.

  • Ross Taylor has made 111 runs in 84 balls against Ireland, having been dismissed only once

*May 20, 6.20pm: this story was updated to reflect Adam Milne's availability