West Indies vs Ireland: West Indies have started their ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 campaign with two convincing wins.
None of these two wins were unexpected and both matches had moments that the West Indies would lie to improve on. Their third match should theoretically be their toughest match as they take on Ireland. Ireland has also registered two victories in the competition and should go through to the Super Six stage. This means that both teams are likely to carry the points they take from this match into the next stage of the competition. Can Ireland pull off an upset here?
MATCH PREVIEW for West Indies vs Ireland
IRELAND in West Indies vs Ireland
Ireland made its reputation in world cricket as a giant killer. They have defeated Pakistan, England, and the West Indies in previous World Cup’s. If they can somehow register a victory in this match then it will go a long way to help them qualify for the ICC World Cup 2019 as well.
Ireland brushed past the Netherlands but received a tough fight from Papua New Guinea. Those two matches, though, would have helped Ireland iron out any problems that they have before the big match against West Indies.
Ireland knows that it is up against a very dangerous batting side that should feature Chris Gayle. Their own batsmen will bat under pressure knowing that a par total could be chased down with ease. We think the best chance the Irish have is to chase in this match.
The Irish bowlers have a had a good time in the tournament up until now. Boyd Rankin, Andy McBrine, and Tim Murtagh have been very good in both the matches. George Dockrell has been a little flat and struggled to get wickets but his role is going to be crucial against the West Indies.
Batsmen like Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmeyer, and Marlon Samuels feast off medium pace bowling. They are, however, susceptible to a good change of pace. George Dockrell could be the bowler to induce the big shots from the West Indies batsmen and cause their downfall.
Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien are going to have a major role to play not just in the batting department but also as part-timers. Both these players are capable of playing a great inning that the opposition has no answer to.
If Ireland is to surprise the West Indies then we think Stirling will have to have a great day. He can take the game to the West Indies and should fancy their relatively benign attack. Runs to William Porterfield, Ed Joyce, and Balbirnie in the tournament are a good sign for Ireland.
They should go into this match with a thought to win.
WEST INDIES in West Indies vs Ireland
The opening two matches have been easy for the West Indies. They were threatened by the UAE batting for a short while and PNG took some early West Indian wickets but at both times the threat was neutralized quickly.
Ireland, though, should put up a better fight than their earlier two opponents. The West Indies will be very keen to win each and every match and really stamp their authority on the tournament but especially so against Ireland.
The loss to Ireland in the 2015 World Cup is not something that West Indian fans will forget easily.
Runs to Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmeyer, Shai Hope, and now Jason Holder bode well for the West Indies. They have looked to be in cruise mode so far and are doing just enough to win comfortably.
Gayle missed the match against PNG but should be back for the encounter against Ireland. With him back in the side, the West Indies knows that they can chase down any score that they are set. We would love to see the West Indian batsmen play freely without any fear of a defeat because that is when they are at their best.
If they go into the match overthinking what they need to do then they could find themselves in trouble. Shai Hope and Marlon Samuels are the two batsmen which we feel will play the biggest role for the West Indies in this match.
The West Indian bowling is a bit of a concern. They let UAE score almost 300 runs and PNG got to 200 as well. The Irish batsmen will come at the West Indies hard and it will be interesting to see how the Windies bowlers respond.
In Ashley Nurse, Kesrick Williams, Jason Holder, and Nikita Miller, the West Indies has a decent attack but not one that is going to put the fear of God into anyone’s mind. Craig Braithwaite and Marlon Samuels are going to have to share the fifth bowler’s quota.
The West Indies goes into this match as clear favorites but their opening two matches have shown that they can be taken down.
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
A rainy day has been forecast for this match in Harare. Rain interruptions and DLS calculations will almost certainly come into play. In fact, we will be lucky to have enough overs played out to complete a match between West Indies vs Ireland.
The team winning the toss will bowl first because of the threat of rain. The pitch in Harare has been slow with consistent bounce and the same is expected for this match as well.
The West Indies have won three out of the last four completed matches against Ireland. The big stage, though, can play some tricks on the best of players and the West Indies will not be taking this match likely. We think that Ireland will give the West Indies a tough fight but the more established test nation will have what it takes to get through.
Back the West Indies to win.
Winner: West Indies, N/A @ Bet on West Indies now