About the Match
West Indies will take on Ireland in the upcoming group match of the World Cup series that kick-started this weekend, on 16th Feb at the Saxton Oval, Nelson. Both teams look confident to beat the opposition; the West Indies cricket has been in a lot of turmoil recently and their form is questionable but the team will definitely come back with better strengths. Ireland on the other hand is one of the squads that have seen the most improvement in recent years and they will be eager to get off on a positive note here. It will be very interesting to watch both sides perform on the world stage and give their best to triumph on Monday.
Ireland has been very impressive in the run-up to the World Cup and their previous record wherein they beat Pakistan in 2007 and England in 2011, speaks volumes of this team’s never-say-die attitude. The team has well-drilled and expert players like Kevin O’Brien, who scored 113 runs to give Ireland its historic win over England in the 2011 edition, and William Porterfield who is a consistent player and is the country’s top run-scorer in both ODI and T20 format. Niall O’Brien, John Mooney, Ed Joyce and Alex Cusack, who have played in the previous world-cups, surely have the experience to win the upcoming match. They also have many youngsters like spinner George Dockrell, the young batsman Andrew Balbirnie, Stuart Thompson who boasts an impressive bowling average of 14.50 and pace-man Craig Young, who picked up 5-46 on his ODI debut last year. However, Ireland’s batting nonetheless stays as one of their weaknesses against the top squads and they must ensure that the top order gives them the required solid foundation. The team has the fire-power and necessary talent to overcome any situation and do well in the upcoming matches.
The team has two main players who can change the game single-handedly with their terrific style and confidence; Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels at the top order will be the pillar of strength for West Indies in this tournament and a lot is expected out of them. Although Gayle has struggled a bit to get the big scores, Samuels has been performing well and looks raring to go. All-rounder Russell gave a thorough account of his irrefutable talent in a recent ODI game against South Africa and looks to be very dependable at the moment. The main drawback is that Bravo and Pollard, who contribute with both bat and ball, are not included in the team; Sunil Narine’s absence also clearly exposes the bowling attack. A combination of spinners Sulieman Benn and Nikita Miller can work for them provided they start exuding more confidence in themselves. Their skipper is the youngest captain in the tournament and his in-experience could also be a disadvantage here; however, they are inspired to challenge themselves and give their best to win the upcoming match.
In terms of recent performance, Ireland surely is the better team and they have sufficient county expertise compared to the West Indies team. Although West Indies will come out with some tricks to fight against Ireland, the Irish have strong match-winners, who will give them the edge to win the match. Winner:
Ireland, 4.50 @ Bet365