Ireland will host Zimbabwe for the third and final ODI on Monday, September 13 at the Civil Service Cricket Club, Belfast. This will be the last fixture of Zimbabwe's tour of Ireland which consisted of five T20Is and three ODIs.
After sealing the T20I series, the hosts are now on the backfoot in the longer format of the game. The first 50 overs-a-side contest saw Zimbabwe emerge on top courtesy of a splendid performance by the visitors.
Zimbabwe notched up 266 runs on board, riding on significant contributions from Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine and man of the match Sikander Raza. A four-fer from Blessing Muzarabani ensured that Ireland were handed a 38-run loss.
After being invited to bat, Ireland put in a much better batting performance in the second ODI, with all their top six batsmen playing handy knocks. They scored 282 runs from their 50 overs but incessant rain did not allow the resumption of the contest.
The Irish were certainly not pleased with that as they had a good opportunity to level the series. With the series tilted 1-0 in favor of Zimbabwe, it is perhaps time for Ireland to press the panic button and give it their all.
Match: Ireland vs Zimbabwe, 3rd ODI
Date: September 13, 2021 (Monday)
Time: 03:00 pm IST
Venue: Civil Service Cricket Club, Belfast
Conditions do not look very promising in Belfast. Temperatures will hover around the 12 degree Celsius mark and will rise a bit as the game progresses. However, there will be high humidity and a considerable chance of precipitation as well. We just might have another rain-marred contest on the cards.
The track has plenty on offer for the batsmen and it will not be surprising to see the first 300+ score in this series. There is some help for the fast bowlers as well and the pacers will be looking to make an impact. The side batting first will look to post a total of around the 280-290 runs mark.
Predicted Playing XIs:
In dire need of a comeback, Ireland will be banking on their star players to put in impactiful performances and take their side over the line. The spotlight will be on William Porterfield and Harry Tector to do the bulk of the scoring while they will be expecting a much improved bowling performance from their bowlers.
Predicted XI: William Porterfield, Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Harry Tector, George Dockrell, Simi Singh, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Andy McBrine, Mark Adair, Craig Young, Joshua Little.
The visitors will be eyeing the trophy after taking a 1-0 lead. A cause of concern for Zimbabwe might be how they leaked runs in the second ODI. The bowlers failed to pick up early wickets and let Ireland get off to a solid start. They will be hoping the likes of Muzarabani, Sean Williams and Luke Jongwe are at their best.
Predicted XI: Brendan Taylor, Regis Chakabva (wk), Craig Ervine (c), Wesley Madhevere, Sean Williams, Milton Shumba, Sikander Raza, Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava.
Ireland are hungry for a win and will look to level the series and get some much-needed points in the ODI Super League table. Expect the hosts to come out all guns blazing to secure a win.
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