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Latham ton leads rout of Ireland

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/05/2017

New Zealand are laying the foundations for a decent assault on the Champions Trophy according to skipper Tom Latham after leading his team to a third straight win in the Tri-Nations tournament in Dublin.

Latham scored his third one-day international century as the unbeaten Black Caps crushed Ireland by 190 runs on Sunday.

It means they can't be headed in the three-nation series, regardless the outcome of their final match against Bangladesh on Wednesday.

Latham was delighted with a comprehensive team performance after powering to 344-6, having been inserted on a green-looking pitch at the Malahide Cricket Club ground.

The interim skipper compiled a patient 104 from 111 balls, sharing significant partnerships with fellow-opener Luke Ronchi (35), Neil Broom (38) and Ross Taylor (57) before Colin Munro exploded near the end.

The hard-hitting Munro scorched to 44 off 15 balls, striking four sixes, including an audacious reverse sweep off seamer Peter Chase which comfortably cleared the rope.

If he had struck his last ball for six, Munro would have eclipsed the ODI world record for the fastest half-century, achieved in 16 balls by AB de Villiers against the West Indies in 2015.

Instead, the 30-year-old was dismissed, having helped the Black Caps blast 72 runs off their last four overs.

Latham said such hitting was only possible if a base was laid, something his team were able to achieve.

They plan to take the same tactical approach into the Champions Trophy starting next week in the United Kingdom.

"If you have wickets in hand then you can extend that death phase, which we managed to do really nicely," Latham said.

"Against Bangladesh, we want to improve again on what we did today. Obviously if we can do that, hopefully we can hit the Champions Trophy running.

"At a tournament like that, it is important that you start well."

Ireland were skittled for 154 in the 40th over, with captain William Porterfield (48 off 50) providing some early resistance.

Matt Henry took 3-36 while fellow-seamers Scott Kuggeleijn and Corey Anderson bagged a brace each.

Injury-plagued speedster Adam Milne emerged unscathed, taking 1-29 off eight overs, more than a year after his previous international appearance.

A stiff back resulted in allrounder Jimmy Neesham's omission as a "precautionary measure" ahead of the Champions Trophy, according to a team statement.

George Worker, Seth Rance and Hamish Bennett were also left out, having contributed to the four-wicket defeat of Bangladesh last week.

That trio, along with Munro, aren't in the Champions Trophy squad, having been selected for the Tri-Nations as cover for leading Black Caps involved in the Indian Premier League.

New Zealand's full Champions Trophy squad will play tournament warm-up matches against India in London on Sunday and Sri Lanka in Birmingham on Tuesday before their opening match against Australia on Friday next week.

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