Dublin: New Zealand captain Tom Latham led from the front with a century as his side beat Ireland by an emphatic margin of 190 runs at Malahide on Sunday to win the one-day international tri-series with a game to spare.
The Black Caps face Bangladesh in Wednesday's final match at Clontarf, when Latham will receive the trophy.
Defending an imposing 344 for six, New Zealand needed only 39.3 overs to bowl out their hosts for 154, with Matt Henry, just returned from the Indian Premier League, taking three for 36.
Ireland captain William Porterfield top scored for his side with 48 from 50 balls (five fours and a six) but when he was fourth out at the start of the 19th over for 75, the innings went downhill fast.
Niall O'Brien followed in the next over and wickets fell steadily with all six Black Caps bowlers striking.
Only a last-wicket stand of 25 between Barry McCarthy and Peter Chase, the No 11 who hit a career-best 14, delayed the inevitable.
The strength of this New Zealand team is their batting, however, and while Latham led from the front with his third ODI century, from 109 balls with eight fours and four sixes, it was the even faster scoring around him from Luke Ronchi (35 from 31) and Neil Broom (38 off 42) that was so impressive.
When Latham was third out -- dismissed for 104 -- at the end of the 36th over, with the total on 212, the Ireland bowlers enjoyed their best spell, but the entry of Colin Munro changed all that. He thumped 44 off 15 balls with three fours and four sixes in a prolific 57-run stand with Mitchell Santner. In all 72 came off the last four overs.
It was a new look Black Caps side as they also welcomed back all-rounder Corey Anderson from the IPL –- although he was restricted to 20 off 24 balls with just one six -– while Adam Milne also made his first appearance of the series.
Ireland dropped the experienced Kevin O’Brien and Tim Murtagh but it yielded no improvement as they slumped to a 10th successive loss against a full member nation.
Latham was fortunate to reach his century as, 11 runs short he was caught at third man but, after the television umpire was consulted, bowler Craig Young was ruled to have over-stepped and a no-ball was called.
Updated Date: May 22, 2017 12:19 PM