Ireland Women and Netherlands Women are all set to lock horns in the opening game of their T20I series at The Village in Dublin on Monday, July 26.
The home team has been impressive this year, having beaten Scotland Women by a margin of 3-1 in the four-match T20I series back in May. Laura Delany and Co. lost their first game but returned to win their next three matches to accomplish a 3-1 series triumph.
Gaby Lewis was the highest run-scorer of the series as she notched 116 runs from four games at an impressive strike rate of 116. She needs to be on top of her game in the upcoming series as well. Skipper Delany also needs to bring all her experience to the fore.
The onus will also be on Shauna Kavanagh and others to perform. In the bowling department, left-arm fast bowler Leah Paul picked up nine wickets in the series against Scotland. Overall, the hosts have a power-packed squad at their disposal.
The Netherlands, on the contrary, are set to play their first T20I after a gap of almost two years. The Dutch team last played in a T20 World Cup Qualifier in September 2019.
The visitors will be captained by Heather Siegers, who has played 15 T20Is so far. Siegers is one of their key players as she has scored 210 runs and picked up 18 wickets from the 15 games she has played so far.
Though the team is a bit short on experience, the Netherlands Women have the ingredients to roll over the star-studded Ireland team.
It’s pertinent to note that Netherlands Women have never beaten Ireland Women in T20I cricket. Out of eight matches between the two teams, Ireland has won seven while the other match was washed off due to rain.
Can the Netherlands get past Ireland?
On paper, Ireland is a much stronger team than the Netherlands going into the white-ball series. The Irish players are much more experienced than their opponents.
Delany’s women have the firepower to beat any team on their day. The hosts should be able to comfortably win the first T20I on Monday.
Prediction: Ireland Women to win the match.
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