About the Match
St. Patrick’s Day turned out to be lucky for the Irish as they snatched away a last-ball win against Zimbabwe by 3 wickets in their first match to score two points on the table; they will now be up against United Arab Emirates, who lost their match against Netherlands by 6 wickets, failing to defend their total of 151 runs. Ireland has been doing well in the last few months and with this win, their morale will be further boosted; on the other hand UAE will need to win this match to have any chance of going further in the series. It needs to be seen as to which team can bring out an all-round performance on Wednesday and survive the pressure of qualification here.
The spinners did a good job in frustrating the Zimbabwe batsmen with their quality bowling; Stirling, Dockrell and McBrine, together gave only 68 runs from their 12 overs and the latter two took 4 wickets between them to start a batting order collapse for the opponents. Though Alex Cusack took a wicket, he leaked away too many runs and so did Sorenson who gave 11 runs in his lone over. Facing 164 runs as the target, Stirling and Porterfield posted an 80-run opening stand to give them a solid start. Stirling’s 60 off just 34 deliveries showed great promise but after his dismissal things took a downturn, especially on losing 2 wickets in the 15th over. Kevin O’Brien shouldered the responsibility and scored 17 off 10 balls to close the gap and with a bit of luck in the last over, the team managed a last-ball win. While the bowlers certainly did a good job, the batsmen in the middle order need to build stronger partnerships here.
They scored a good total batting first and 151 runs should have been easy to defend but the bowlers could hardly make a dent on the Dutch batsmen; coupled with miserable fielding and dropped catches, the team let the game slip away easily. In retrospect, the batsmen would surely have realized that the T20 format requires them to come up with stronger totals; the openers fell quickly and some of the dismissals were caused by poor shot selection. If they can correct these flaws quickly and give a better performance in the upcoming match, then the bowlers too can draw inspiration to deliver results. Kamran Shazad was promising with his figure of 2-19 from 4 overs but even Silva’s contribution with another wicket couldn’t take them to a win. Guruge, who had done well in the warm-up matches, cost them too many runs and overall the bowling efforts were lackluster. The players need to rise above their weaknesses and focus on the positives to make a comeback here.
Ireland has a good record in this format and their first game win goes to prove their determination to succeed here; UAE on the other hand may need to come up with a strong strategy against the Irish because presently their efforts are not up to the mark. While the match will be well fought by UAE, Ireland clearly go into the match as favorites.
Ireland, 1.16 @ Titan Bet