After securing a decisive victory over Ireland in Adelaide, Kane Williamson's New Zealand are in a strong position to advance to the semi-final of the ongoing T20 World Cup in Australia. With a brilliant half-century, Kane Williamson took the initiative and set a challenging total for the Men in Green. Then, with the ball, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi contributed leading New Zealand to a 35-run victory.
Kane Williamson took the initiative with an aggressive 61 to set the tone for New Zealand's match-winning total of 185/6. Irish openers Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie gave the big chase a strong start, but Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi brilliantly turned it around after expensive first overs to restrict them to 150/9 in response.
Even while 185 was still a good total, Ireland would have been looking at a very real chance of chasing 200 or more if it weren't for some excellent damage control at the very end from the man in form, Little. After UAE's Karthik Meiyappan, the pacer's hat-trick was only the second of this edition. A well-positioned Williamson, Jimmy Neesham, and Mitch Santner were among the three wickets he claimed, and they were all capable of making the most of the last dozen balls of New Zealand's inning to squeeze Ireland under the infamous scoreboard pressure. Little had Williamson pulling straight to the deep fielder and then trapped the two allrounders LBW. Little became the sixth bowler to record a hat-trick in a T20 World Cup.
Brief scores: New Zealand 185/6 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 61, Finn Allen 32; Joshua Little 3-22) beat Ireland 150/9 in 20 overs (Paul Stirling 37, Andrew Balbirnie 30; Lockie Ferguson 3-22, Mitchell Santner 2-26, Ish Sodhi 2-31) by 35 runs.
New Zealand XI: Finn Allen, Devon Conway(w), Kane Williamson(c), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
Ireland XI: Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie(c), Lorcan Tucker(w), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Fionn Hand, Barry McCarthy, Joshua Little