World Cup Qualifiers 2018: Ireland began their quest for qualification to the ICC World Cup 2019 with an emphatic win against the Netherlands.
Their match was affected by rain but they still managed to effect a 93 run win. Their second match should be somewhat easier considering the past record of Papua New Guinea. Is there any way that the underdogs can stop Ireland from marching on to their second victory on this World Cup Qualifiers 2018?
Ireland lost the toss and was put into bat in conditions where rain threatened to play a major role. As it turned out, most of Ireland’s batsmen managed to get a hit and they coasted to an easy victory. This was an important match for Ireland. Netherlands has ODI status and has beaten Ireland multiple times in the past. They are also one of the teams that can be expected to qualify from this group into the Super Six stage in this World Cup Qualifiers 2018.
All the points that a team wins against qualifying sides will be carried forward so winning this match was important for Ireland.
Porterfield and Stirling got off to a slow start but ensured that their team did not lose early wickets. They lay down a solid platform that every one of their following batsmen made good use of. All the top-5 for Ireland got starts and three of them went on to get scores of close to 50 or more.
The fact that most of their batting order got runs early in the tournament will be a huge boost for Ireland going into some tougher matches ahead. A similar story played out during their bowling stint as well.
George Dockrell was the only bowler that did not take a wicket. All the other four took at least two wickets with Murtagh taking three. It was an impressive performance that showcased the fact that Ireland will be one of the strongest contenders in the qualifiers.
The bowling form of Boyd Rankin, Tim Murtagh, and Barry McCarthy is an excellent sign for Ireland. We are backing them to continue their good performances against the relatively weaker Papua New Guinea side as well for World Cup Qualifiers 2018.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
If there was one match in the group stages that Papua New Guinea would have marked out as a potential win then it would have been the one against UAE. They started out pretty well by restricting UAE to 221 but then made an absolute hash of their DLS adjusted score.
What were the things that went wrong for Papua New Guinea? We actually don’t think that they did too much wrong but that their limitations showed in this match. Vanua picked four wickets in the match and was probably the main reason why UAE did not get a bigger total.
He, however, did not have the support from the other bowlers to shut the door completely on UAE. This lack of depth in bowling resources is going to show massively against teams like Ireland, UAE, and even Netherlands.
The only chance that Papua New Guinea had in their chase was to get off to a strong start. The exact opposite happened and PNG slumped to 23/4 from which they were never able to recover.
There was a distinct lack of quality in the batting, particularly once the top the order was cleaned out. The weaker associate teams are overly dependent on one or two quality players but there is no way that these payers can perform every single time.
For Papua New Guinea these players are Norman Vanua and Vani Morea. Only a couple of other payers in the side would even rank as average.
Papua New Guinea did not play particularly badly. They, in fact, executed one part of their game pretty well but were unable to back it up. We don’t think this is the worst defeat they will suiffer in this tournament.
Against Ireland, Papua New Guinea will have to lift each and every facet of their game. Their bowlers will be faced by batsmen who are used to playing county cricket or have played international cricket for a long time. The Papua New Guinea batsmen will also face bowlers who are used to bowling to batsmen of a much higher quality.
The best that Papua New Guinea can hope is for a better fight because the result seems to be in no doubt. World Cup Qualifiers 2018 is going to be surprising!
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
A slightly better forecast has been predicted for match day. There is still a 20% chance of rain but we can realistically hope for a complete game to be played out. The pitch was a little slow but did not hold any demons in it for the batsmen. Slow spin and minimal seam movement were on offer. We think much of the same will be seen during the match between Ireland and Papua New Guinea as well.
Ireland is the overwhelming favorite to win this game and should really brush past Papua New Guinea. We don’t think an upset is likely.