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|Paul Van Meekeren||4||3||0||0||133.33|
|Bas de Leede||33||35||3||0||94.29|
|Paul Van Meekeren||4.0||0||20||1||5.00|
The associate cricketing nations have a kind of brotherhood going on where they are genuinely happy about each other’s success. There was a wide outpouring of congratulations for Scotland after they defeated England by the Netherlands and Ireland. Since Scotland is the third team in this T20 tri-series, there must be a little bit in each team wanting to beat Scotland and regain the unofficial status as the ‘best’ associate team.
Now that some extra motivation has been provided to both teams, it is important that Ireland and Netherlands perform well in their own matches as well. The nature of the tournament is such that teams will play each other in clumps providing very little time between matches. Can the Netherlands make good use of this opportunity to refresh its side or will Ireland walk away from this contest with an easy victory?
T20 cricket was where the Netherlands recorded the scene of its greatest international victory so far. The team managed to defeat England in the World T20 to spark off wild celebrations. Unfortunately, Netherlands has not been able to build on that momentum and has slid down the pack of associate cricketing nations as well.
This tri-nation T20 tournament is an excellent opportunity for it to showcase that talent in its cricketing structure. The cupboard may not be bare but it is definitely sparse at the moment. We don’t see the kind of young talent that Afghanistan, Scotland, or even Ireland has coming through its systems right now.
Long time captain Peter Borren has retired from international cricket leaving Pieter Seelaar to be appointed the new captain. The Netherlands has only named 10 players for the squad which includes three uncapped players, Shane Snater, Fred Klaasen, and Saqib Zulfiqar. All the three are bowlers and could find themselves in the playing eleven come match day.
Some of the Netherlands most reliable and experienced players are playing county cricket so have been named as stand-by’s for the tournament. This means that there is no certainty whether Roelof van der Merwe, Timm van der Guten, Ryan ten Doeschate, or Paul van Meekeren will be a part of the squad.
Surely this situation is not the best for the team and will make planning for the opposition difficult.
The Netherlands is also the most starved of international cricket as compared to the other participants in the tournament. They last played international T20 cricket in 2017 when they were a part of the Desert T20 Challenge. That tournament did not go well for the Netherlands as it lost to Scotland and Hong Kong in its group matches.
They will have to hope for runs from Wesley Barresi, Ben Cooper, and Bas de Leede in the top order. They also need some of their county players to come over and play otherwise they will find it very difficult to compete.
An inexperienced bowling lineup with the exception of skipper Pieter Seelaar and Roelof van der Merwe is not necessarily a bad thing. These bowlers will come in with energy and be difficult for the Irish batsmen to adjust to as well.
Tobias Visee, Max O'Dowd, Ben Cooper, Fred Klaassen, Bas de Leede, Paul Van Meekeren, Scott Edwards, Pieter Seelaar, Shane Snater, Saqib Zulfiqar, Sikander Zulfiqar.
T20 cricket is not Ireland’s favorite format and the newly minted Test nation is the lowest ranked team in this tournament. They are ranked 17th in the world as compared to 11th for Scotland and 13th for the Netherlands.
Does this mean that they go into this match as underdogs? Most certainly not.
Ireland is coming into this match on the back of a creditable performance against Pakistan on test debut. The formats are poles apart but confidence from one success does translate into better performances in the other.
We believe that Ireland will have a tough challenge on its hands in this match even though they seem to be the better-prepared side. Their lack of success in T2 cricket is troubling.
Like the Netherlands, Ireland also last played T20 international cricket in 2017 when they faced up to Afghanistan. The memories of that series played in India are not the fondest and Ireland will do well to focus on more recent cricket form.
The key for Ireland is going to be its batting. A familiar set of players is going to be available for Ireland to pick from. Led by Gary Wilson, Ireland will be hoping that players like Kevin O’Brien, Andy Balbirnie, William Porterfield, Paul Stirling, and some cameos from the lower order are enough to provide it the runs they need.
The dependence on Stirling and Kevin O’Brien for runs is clear. In fact, not only are these two the best batsmen in this squad, they are also going to be responsible for providing much of the impetus to the innings.
Stirling at the top of the order and Kevin O’Brien in the middle are capable of hitting boundaries with regularity but the rest of the squad does not quite have the same abilities. We are hoping that someone like Balbirnie can use this tournament to break out and step up but that has not happened so far.
Ireland does not have a poor batting lineup but it is clearly not the explosive set of players that you want in a T20. Not having enough runs or getting out while trying to play a game not natural to the batsmen is going to be the biggest threat for Ireland in this game.
The Irish bowling has a decent amount of experience thanks to the presence of Boyd Rankin, George Dockrell, Simi Singh, and is well supported by a few youngsters. They are not going to be threatening or scare away the opposition but having done well against Pakistan would have given them confidence for sure.
Rankin and the two spinners will be the ones that will need to hold the Netherlands batsmen in check.
WTS Porterfield, PR Stirling, Simi Singh, J Shannon, Stuart Poynter, Kevin O'Brien, GC Wilson, George Dockrell, SR Thompson, Barry McCarthy, CA Young.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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A good weather forecast for match day has been made in Rotterdam. The temperature is expected to be in the late teens (Celsius) and only a 10% chance of rain has been predicted. Players should be reasonably confident of getting a full game in without any interruptions.
The pitch at Rotterdam is expected to be a little on the slower side but flat for batting. Some early swing could test the batsmen but the small boundaries will allow for a high scoring match.
Ireland goes into this contest as the favorites, however, we believe that the right betting opportunity lies in backing the Netherlands. The home team has beaten Ireland in their last three T20 encounters and is ranked much higher in this format. The Netherlands may not have it first choice squad available to it but the players it does have are pretty adept at T20 cricket.
Back Netherlands to win.
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