The last time New Zealand met Ireland in an ODI, they rattled up their highest ODI total, produced what is still the fourth highest opening stand and won by a mile.

But that was nine years ago and Ireland, circa 2017, are a far more competitive beast than on that occasion.

They have full international recognition in sight and it's no exaggeration to say they have a point to make in their tri-series, which also involves Bangladesh, the nation they kicked it off against early yesterday.

New Zealand have played the Irish just twice - a 129-run win in Guyana at the 2007 World Cup, when names like James Franklin, Jacob Oram, Scott Styris and Shane Bond were scattered through the lineup, and a year later in an associates' tournament in Aberdeen.


New Zealand's 402 for two rather ruined the match as a contest.

James Marshall (161 off 141 balls) and Brendon McCullum (161 off 135 balls, 10 of which cleared the fence) put on 274 to lay the foundation for a 290-run flogging.

The third clash at Malahide, just outside Dublin, late tomorrow night comes as Ireland are awaiting the International Cricket Council's signature at next month's annual meeting to become a fully-fledged test-playing nation.

They've just played two ODIs against England, losing both, but there are encouraging signs.

Names like William Porterfield, Paul Stirling and veteran Ed Joyce lead the batting; the O'Brien brothers remain while tidy left arm spinner George Dockrell is still only 24, but has seemingly been around for an age.

New Zealand warmed up with an easy 85-run win over the Irish Wolves in a 25-over knockabout in Dublin.

The success story for New Zealand was seamer Seth Rance, in his first New Zealand tour, who took four for 13 off four overs.

He's clearly chuffed to be there.

"It's not a bad way to start the tour," Rance said. "It was a pretty proud moment, cool to pull on the black gear, bowl some overs and have a nice win.

"I'm pretty pleased with how it came out and hope to build on that in the next few days."

Rance warmed up for his first New Zealand trip with some time in the north Lancashire League.

"I came over about two weeks ago and had three games in similar conditions to what we have here," he said.

Bangladesh are seventh on the ODI rankings and, if they beat Ireland twice and New Zealand at least once in this series, will go into the Champions Trophy at No6. Different teams have different levels of expectations. That would have Bangladesh doing cartwheels.

They also play New Zealand during the Champions Trophy, at Cardiff on July 9. Even though they were soundly beaten, repeatedly, during their tour of New Zealand last summer, they are undoubtedly a competent limited-overs team.

The three countries will play each other twice before they set their sights on the trophy.

Don't be surprised if there's at least one surprise result during the course of the next week in the Emerald Isle.

ODI tri-series:

Tomorrow night: v Ireland, Malahide
May 17: v Bangladesh, Clontarf
May 21: v Ireland, Malahide
May 24: v Bangladesh, Clontarf