Taylor blitz buries Ireland
New Zealand 153 for 3 (Taylor 74*, Guptill 45*) beat Ireland 152 for 5 (Bray 48, Ryder 3-4) by seven wickets
Ross Taylor laid a marker ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 with a thumping 74 off 36 balls as New Zealand moved through the gears to beat Ireland by seven wickets with three overs to spare at Derby.
After their last-ball win against Bangladesh the previous day this was a more convincing effort by New Zealand. However, Ireland made them work hard early on as they reached 70 without loss in the ninth over, but were held to 152 before being blown away by Taylor who launched eight sixes in his powerful assault.
He added 103 in 11 overs with Martin Guptill, who finished on a far more leisurely 45 from 42 deliveries, after Peter Connell had claimed two early wickets. He removed Brendon McCullum for 9 in the second over and then bagged Jesse Ryder in the sixth, but the other bowlers came in for some punishment from Taylor.
Ryder had earlier played an important role with the ball as he claimed 3 for 4 from two overs to slow Ireland's innings after they were well placed for a more demanding total. Jeremy Bray, who has been recalled for this tournament after two years out the side following a fall-out with the board, hit 48 off 43 balls, adding 70 with Paul Stirling to set the early pace, and Ireland were 106 for 1 before Ryder struck.
He removed Kevin O'Brien, Bray and Andrew Poynter as four wickets fell for 17 runs and although John Mooney lifted the total over 150 it was no match for Taylor's display.