Michael Bracewell completed a hat-trick within his first over in T20 internationals last night to wrap up an emphatic victory for New Zealand in Belfast as Ireland subsided to an 88-run defeat.

The match had long gone before Bracewell, the home side’s nemesis in last week’s ODI series, saw Mark Adair hole out at cow corner, Barry McCarthy provide an action replay next ball and Craig Young slice to short third man.

Young was the third Ireland player to record a first-ball duck and with form horse Harry Tector running himself out for two, the Boys in Green could only manage a meagre 91 in reply to the visitors’ imposing 179-4.

Victory gave New Zealand a winning 2-0 lead in the series, and the Black Caps will complete a clean sweep of the ODI and T20 games if they win tomorrow, but this was the first time in five encounters that Ireland failed to compete.

“Sometimes you can have days like that with the bat,” skipper Andy Balbirnie said. “When you're 50-odd for seven, chasing 170, you’re never really in the game.

"The pitch played similar throughout so we as batters have to take responsibility that this isn’t good enough in international cricket. We've got one more crack at them and we'll see how we go.”

Perhaps Balbirnie should have chosen to bat first after winning the toss but instead he backed his bowlers to restrict New Zealand’s strong line-up, only for them to score six more runs than they managed on the same pitch on Monday.

Josh Little was the pick of the attack, conceding just eight runs from his first two overs and finishing with 2-31, but the visitors passed 140 in the 17th over, a total that has never been chased down at the Stormont ground.

Paul Stirling gave his home crowd hope, making all 21 of an opening partnership of 23, before miscueing to mid-off, while Tector all but sealed his side’s fate with a daft call for a single that left him run-out by Glenn Phillips’ direct hit.