About the Match
Ireland suffered defeat against South Africa in the last match and have 4 points from 3 matches, placed at the 5st position in group B; they will go up against Zimbabwe, who have 2 points from 4 matches and are placed at 6th position, on 7th March at the Bellerive Stadium, Hobart. Ireland has comfortably won the first two matches and they will be eager to bounce back from their recent loss with a win against Zimbabwe in the upcoming match; Zimbabwe on the other hand will try their best to keep their hopes alive with a much needed win here; the team that can keep a cool head above its shoulders and dominate the other, will certainly move towards victory on Saturday.
Although Balbirnie top-scored with 58 and Kevin O’Brien scored 48 runs, they lost their last match against South Africa by a huge margin of 201 runs; facing a stiff target of 412, Ireland managed only 210 from 45 overs. They couldn’t repeat their brilliance seen in the first 2 matches; against UAE, Gary Wilson had posted 80 while Kevin O’Brien smashed 50 off 25 to help the team register their second win. Against the Proteas, Mooney had started the proceedings on a good note, picking up a wicket in his first spell; however, during the final stages, he went for 43 off just 2 overs. George Dockrell was the only bowler to give away less than 6 runs an over and although Andy McBrine picked up 2-63, they couldn’t the stop the opponents. Ireland will bank on the firepower of Kevin O’Brien, the experience of William Porterfield and Ed Joyce, and the impressive fielding and all-round talents of Paul Stirling and Max Sorensen. However, they will need to strategize well and exploit the weaknesses of the opponents on Saturday to win the match.
Zimbabwe lost against Pakistan by a narrow margin 20 runs, chasing 236; they got off to a poor start losing both their openers very early on. The middle order steadily started to build the total with decent contribution; despite Brendon Taylor’s smashing 50, Sean Williams’ 33 and Elton Chigumbara’s run-a-ball 35, they succumbed to pressure and perished one after the other. The bowlers put up a professional show to restrict Pakistan to a modest total; Tendai Chatara picked up 3-35 and Sean Williams took 2-48 but the batsmen failed to grab the opportunity at hand. Against West Indies, Williams blasted 76 and Ervine scored 52 but they again failed to reach the gigantic target of 363 runs. The team has the ability and experience to bounce back against Ireland with players like Williams, Brendon, Ervine and Chigumbara being strong assets but they need to improve their bowling and restrict the big hitters; with enough strength and talent to recover from their drawbacks, Zimbabwe needs to play with more responsibility and come out all guns blazing to win the upcoming match.
Team Zimbabwe is under pressure as they need to win all the upcoming matches from here on to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive and will definitely pull out some tricks against Ireland; however, the Irish have been more confident and performing better than Zimbabwe in recent outings. Although the match will be well fought by both sides, Ireland look favorites to win this match.
Ireland, 2.10 @ Bet365