Nottingham:Aaron Redmond's blitzkrieg half-century in his Twenty20 World Cup debut earned him an admirer in stand-in New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum who described his knock as "unbelievable".
Plucked out of club cricket to fill the void created by Jesse Ryder's abdominal illness, Redmond responded with a violent 30-ball 63 that not only fashioned New Zealand's 83-run win over Ireland but also earned him the Man of the Match award.
McCullum said to come and make a mark in the first match was no joke.
"Redmond played an unbelievable innings. To come in and play an innings like that was simply great," McCullum said. "To play with so much of freedom is incredible," he added.
New Zealand have been badly hit by fitness issues in the tournament so far with Ryder out of the event and both Ross Taylor and Daniel Vettori nursing hamstring injuries.
Redmond was happy with his first day first show and oozed confidence of the team doing well in the tournament.
"Sometimes, when you are taken off the couch and thrown into action, you have a good day. The tournament is open and the boys are doing well," he said.
Meanwhile, dejection was writ large on the face of Ireland captain William Porterfield, who felt four run outs did them in.
"It surely did not help us. They are a good side, they fielded well and bowled well too," he said.
"The first five overs were crucial. They got away. They fielded really well. They didn't make it easy for us. Our preparation has been good and we will learn a lot from the Super Eights," he said.