New Zealand 344 for 6 (Latham 104, Taylor 57, Munro 44, Chase 2-69) beat Ireland 154 (Porterfield 48, Henry 3-36) by 190 runs
New Zealand tuned up for the Champions Trophy by clinching the tri-series in Malahide with three wins in three matches. Their latest victory was set up by Tom Latham, who struck his third ODI hundred and first as captain, and Colin Munro, who threatened to break the record for the fastest fifty in ODIs. Their contributions and Ross Taylor's fifty propelled New Zealand to 344 for 6. The bowlers then had a good workout in the defence, dismissing Ireland for 154 within 40 overs.
The green pitch and overcast conditions tempted Ireland to bowl first, but they had to wait until the start of the 11th over for their first wicket. New Zealand opener Luke Ronchi made the early running, playing a variety of cuts and driving fluently on the up against pace. Spin could not slow him down either - he lofted left-arm spinner George Dockrell over and through the covers.
Just as Ronchi threatened to kick into a higher gear, he was bowled by seamer Craig Young for 35. Latham then took charge and added 75 for the second wicket with Neil Broom, who contributed 38, before chipping Chase to mid-off.
Latham, though, continued to keep New Zealand ticking. He reached his first fifty off 64 balls, and brought up the second off 45 balls. Latham had a life on 89 when he holed out to long leg, where Barry McCarthy completed an excellent diving catch. Young, the bowler, had overstepped though. Latham reached his hundred with a single to long-on off Dockrell, but he fell in the same over - the 36th of the innings - when he came down the track and missed the ball. Niall O'Brien, the wicketkeeper, took the bails off to dismiss Latham for 104 off 111 balls.
The momentum, however, seamlessly switched from one batsman to another. Taylor made his 35th ODI fifty, while Corey Anderson and Mitchell Santner flickered briefly, scoring 20 each. Munro led the charge in the slog overs, hammering three fours and four sixes, including one over square leg that broke a spectator's chair.
He started the penultimate over of the innings with back-to-back sixes off Peter Chase and raced to 44 off 14 balls. AB de Villiers' 16-ball fifty against West Indies in 2015 was in danger. Munro holed out off the next ball, though, but his blitz was instrumental in taking New Zealand to an imposing score.
They plundered 72 off the last four overs. The visitors, in fact, could have got more if not for sharp fielding from Ireland. Five out of six Ireland bowlers conceded over six runs an over.
Ireland lost Paul Stirling for a duck in the chase when fast bowler Matt Henry found the top edge with a sharp, rising delivery. Ed Joyce and William Porterfield then tried to offset the early loss by putting on a run-a-ball 51 for the second wicket. The stand ended when Corey Anderson struck in his first over to remove Joyce for 17. From thereon the innings unravelled: Ireland lost their last nine wickets for 102 runs.
In his next over Anderson dismissed Andy Balbirnie for a duck. Scott Kuggeleijn then took the key wicket of Porterfield, having him caught at deep square leg, where Adam Milne claimed a brilliant catch. Milne, playing first international match since the World T20, then pinned Dockrell lbw to leave Ireland at 119 for 7 in 32 overs. Eight overs later, legspinner Ish Sodhi added his name in the wickets column and wrapped up the 190-run victory.
The last match of the tri-series - a dead rubber between New Zealand and Bangladesh - will be played on Wednesday.