Josh Little took a T20 World Cup hat-trick, but it wasn't enough to prevent Ireland from a 35-run loss against New Zealand in their final Super 12 match in Adelaide.

The Kiwis looked set for a 200-run plus total before Little halted their charge in the penultimate over.

The Pembroke left-armer first had top-scorer Kane Williamson caught in the deep for 61 off 35 balls (5 fours, 3 sixes), and then trapped Jimmy Neesham and Mitch Santer in front to become the sixth bowler to achieve the feat in T20 World Cups.

His team-mate Curtis Campher is also on that illustrious list, having nothched four in four balls last year at the tournament.

Despite Little's success, New Zealand still managed a very competitive 185 for 6, with runs too for Finn Allen (32), Daryl Mitchell (31*), and Devon Conway (28).

Gareth Delany (2-30) accounted for Conway and Glenn Phillips, but there was little else to cheer from the bowling unit.

The Irish chase got off to a promising start with skipper Balbirnie hittting three sixes in his 30 from 25 balls, but having added 68 in eight overs wth Paul Stirling, both fell in quick succession.

29 had been added in the seventh and eight overs, but just as the Irish were on the charge, the skipper chopped on to give the breakthrough.

Stirling followed shortly afterwards - top-scoring with 37 from 27 deliveries (3 fours, 1 six), and from then the innings never looked like overhauling their tough target.

George Dockrell struck a few defiant blows in an enterprising 23, but it was too little, too late as the Irish ended 35 runs adrift on 150 for 9.

Ferguson (3-22) was the most successful of the attack, while there was aalso two wickets apiece for Southee (2-29), Santer (2-26) and Sodhi (2-31).

The Irish will now have to go through the qualifying tournament next year, alongside Scotland and The Netherlands, with only two places guaranteed.

There had been reports that Ireland were in line to host to the qualifying event, but Scotland now seems the preferred choice of ICC. Let us hope there are rain days built in.

After almost a decade of T20 misery, this campaign offered some optimism for the format. In Josh Little they have a spearhead of undoubted quality. With a little more depth there is hope that there are more glory days ahead for Heinrich Malan's side.