Ireland and Zimbabwe are all set to lock horns in the first game of the five-match T20I series on Friday, August 27 at the Clontarf County Ground in Dublin.
Back in July, Ireland played a three-match T20I series against South Africa and lost 0-3. Their bowlers troubled the opposition batsmen plenty of times, with Mark Adair being their leading wicket-taker, having scalped five wickets. But their batters couldn’t quite step up and deliver. In all three matches, their batting suffered horrendous collapses.
Zimbabwe, on the other hand, lost their three-match T20I series against Bangladesh 1-2. After losing the opener by eight wickets, they stormed back to draw the series with a 23-run triumph.
In the decider at the Harare Sports Club, they put 193 on the board, but their bowlers failed to defend the target. Wesley Madhevere was the leading run-scorer of the series with 150 runs. Regis Chakabva played at a stupendous strike-rate of 198.11.
Match: Ireland vs Zimbabwe, 1st T20I
Date: August 27, 2021 (Friday)
Time: 04:30 PM IST.
Venue: Clontarf Cricket Club Ground, Dublin.
Conditions will be clear with temperatures around the 18-degree Celsius mark. There is no chance of rain and a full game can be expected.
The venue has hosted two ODIs and a solitary T20I between Oman and Afghanistan back in 2015. The game wasn’t an overly high-scoring one. It remains to be seen if a similar sort of pitch will be dished out for the next game.
Predicted Playing XIs:
Paul Stirling must be high on confidence after getting the Player of the Match award in the final of the Men’s Hundred. Kevin O’Brien is a powerful striker of the ball, but he needs to find form. Mark Adair has been a genuine wicket-taker for them and he needs to be on top of his game.
Predicted XI: Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, Andrew Balbirnie (c), George Dockrell, Harry Tector, Simi Singh, Lorcan Tucker, Shane Getkate, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Joshua Little
Wesley Madhevere and Regis Chakabva looked in ominous touch against Bangladesh and they’ll want to replicate something similar. The onus will also be on Sikandar Raza and skipper Craig Ervine. Blessing Muzarabani and Luke Jongwe have been amongst the wickets for Zimbabwe and they need to carry their form into the upcoming match.
Predicted XI: Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wesley Madhevere, Regis Chakabva, Sikandar Raza, Craig Ervine (c), Ryan Burl, Luke Jongwe, Milton Shumba, Wellington Masakadza, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani
Ireland vs Zimbabwe Match Prediction:
Ireland’s performances in the T20I format haven't been all that great in recent times. Zimbabwe, on the contrary, must be fairly high on confidence after the series against Bangladesh and should be expected to win.
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