Belfast [Ireland], July 21 (ANI): Following his side's 88-run win over Ireland in the second T20I, New Zealand skipper Mitchell Santner lauded wicketkeeper-batter Dane Cleaver's excellent half-century, saying that the way he played was 'outstanding'.
A clinical all-round performance by New Zealand, led from the front by wicketkeeper-batter Dane Cleaver, spinners Ish Sodhi and Michael Bracewell helped them crush Ireland by 88 runs in the second T20I at Belfast on Wednesday and clinch the three-match series 2-0.
"It was a clinical victory. The way Dane played to get us to that score was outstanding. There is not a lot that Bracewell cannot do at the moment in all formats. The next game would be on a new wicket, so it might play similar to the first game," said Santner during a post-match presentation.
The match was extremely one-sided. New Zealand put up a challenging 179/4 in their 20 overs. Dane Cleaver's unbeaten 78 off 55 balls powered the batting effort of the Kiwis, with Finn Allen (35) making another notable contribution. The duo of Cleaver and Glenn Phillips put up an important partnership of 53 runs. Medium pacer Josh Little was the pick of the bowlers for Ireland, taking 2/31. Craig Young also got two wickets.
The chase of 180 runs was nightmarish for the hosts as wickets kept tumbling for them regularly. After the fall of Paul Stirling for 21, the batters could not get a breather from the web spun by spinners Sodhi (3/21) and pace of Jacob Duffy (2/20). Then, spinner Michael Bracewell wiped off the tail by taking a hat trick, becoming the third NZ bowler to do so after Jacob Oram and Tim Southee. Ireland was bundled out for just 91 runs, with Mark Adair (27) and Paul Stirling (21) scoring the most for their side. NZ clinched the match by 88 runs.
Cleaver was adjudged as the 'Man of the Match' for his brilliant 78*.
The final T20I of the series will be held in Belfast on Friday.
Notably, New Zealand had won the ODI series that took place as a part of the tour before this T20I series by 3-0. The series was a closely-contested one, with the final ODI being a thriller which New Zealand won by one run. (ANI)