About the Match
There was a glimmer of hope for Ireland before the rain came in and stopped an engrossing contest in its tracks. Still, the Irish would have taken some confidence from that game and would be hoping to replicate that against New Zealand in the second match of the series.
A green pitch and some long-time familiar opponents made for a revved up Irish team as they started well and had Bangladesh at 70 for 4. The visitors were in the middle of a good comeback when the rain stopped play after 31.1 overs had been bowled.
What was clear in that short time was that Ireland has a couple of bowlers that will be a handful in helpful conditions but do not quite have the depth to sustain that attack for the entire duration of the innings. Even in the last match, there was a noticeable letup after Chase and Murtagh had been removed from the attack.
None the less, Ireland will be hoping to put a New Zealand team missing many of its first choice stars under pressure with some early wickets.
Ireland did not have a chance to bat in the first game and that is where we believe they are at their weakest. Green seaming conditions are good for their bowlers and will help take the opposition spinners out of the game but still require a dedicated effort to get runs.
Only Paul Stirling has been consistently good enough to emerge as a threat that opposition teams will be worried about and a lot will depend on him in this series as well. William Porterfield scored some runs against England in the second ODI while Ed Joyce has the necessary experience at this level but they are both well beyond their prime.
The missing first-choice seam bowling unit of New Zealand could make life easier for the Irish, though.
Most of the big names of New Zealand cricket are currently plying their wares at the IPL. This means that there is no Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Colin Munroe, de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Adam Milne and Corey Anderson.
While this may the new reality that international cricket exists in where top stars miss national duty for franchises in India, it also offers an opportunity for New Zealand to test its bench strength.
Tom Latham will be leading the side in the absence of Kane Williamson, a clear indication of the high regard he commands from the New Zealand board. Luke Ronchi will get another chance to cement his place in the side as opener, while George Worker, Ross Taylor, Neil Broom and James Neesham will form the middle order.
It is not a weak batting lineup by any stretch, although, we suspect that a couple of quick wickets at the top could cause a collapse. Ross Taylor and Jimmy Neesham are the players most likely to score runs in our opinion, while Tom Latham is also in line to score some runs.
Hamish Bennett, Seth Rance, and Neil Wagner will form the pace attack with help from Colin Munroe and Jimmy Neesham. Rance and Wagner have never played an ODI while Bennet is making a comeback after three years. Santner is expected to get a game but Ish Sodhi will probably miss out even though leg spin has been Ireland's tormentor in recent times.
Pitch and Conditions
A green pitch with assistance for the seamers is expected. Rain is in the air and we suspect that this could be a reduced overs game as well.
New Zealand should win this game even though the rain could make things interesting with Duckworth-Lewis calculations coming into play.
Back New Zealand to win.
Winner: New Zealand, 1.14 @ Bet on New Zealand now