About the Match
Ireland lost its last match to Bangladesh convincingly and faces the realistic probability of ending this series without a single win to its credit. New Zealand has shown that even its second choice of players is good enough to compete and win at this level, indicating an impressive bench strength and talent pool available for selection.
This second last game of the tournament does not have much importance attached to it except for the fact that Ireland is still looking for that upset victory that will maybe reenergize its cricketing efforts.
The previous match that Ireland played against Bangladesh was a very clear indication that the current Irish team is a step below the top ranked cricketing nations. The fact that this also included Bangladesh would prick Ireland because not too long ago, both these cricketing nations were at a very similar level.
Seeing the past performances that Ireland has put in recent times indicates that they would be hoping for a win but not really playing for one. Even a good performance where they are able to compete for sustained periods of time would be something they would be happy with.
One of the biggest disappointments for them this series has been the lack of form of Paul Stirling. He was supposed to be the gun batsman for Ireland and the only one that can realistically change the course of a game alone. Niall O’Brian scored a magnificent century but none of the other batsmen kicked on when they got starts.
The bowling for Ireland is also strictly average even though they have the advantage of bowling in tailor made conditions. An Irish victory here would be the equivalent of a small miracle.
A cricketing nation with the kind of history New Zealand has will want to walk away from this series undefeated. Yes, they do not have their best team on the park but they expect their reserves to be good enough to beat the minnows of world cricket each time.
We expect there will be some changes that New Zealand ring into to give more of their squad a run but that should not detract from the intensity seen on the field. In fact, one of the advantages of playing an inexperienced team is the fact they have an added incentive to make their mark in these games.
Among the bowlers, Hamish Bennett and Kuggeleijn have done well, while Neil Broom has done well with the bat. We have a feeling that this will be the match where Tom Latham takes his opportunity to score some big runs as well. He is a class player and simply too good to fail consistently against bowling that is below the standard of what he usually faces in international cricket.
New Zealand may not have much of a challenge ahead of them but they can be counted upon to be professional and clinical in their execution.
Pitch and Conditions
Malahide has offered up pitches that have some assistance for the seamers but flatten out to be good batting decks later on. We could be in for a lot of runs of New Zealand bat first.
There is only one winner in this match and that is New Zealand. Maybe, betting on New Zealand scoring more than 300 if they bat first or chase down Ireland’s total inside 40 overs will provide some better betting value.
New Zealand to win.
Winner: New Zealand, 1.2 @ Bet on New Zealand now