Netherlands made a much-awaited return to international cricket in May, after a nearly two-year hiatus Taking on Scotland in a two-match ODI rubber, the Dutchmen won the first game by 14 runs but fell short in the second by six wickets to concede the advantage.
With a young, inexperienced team led by veteran all-rounder Pieter Seelaar, the Netherlands will have an eye on upsetting their much more fancied opponents in their first taste of ICC Cricket World Cup Super League action.
On the other hand, Ireland have been active more recently and are slowly building a reputation as a side that cannot be taken lightly. Since gaining Test status in 2017, they have steadily worked their way up by coming out strong against the top sides in world cricket.
However, unfortunately for Andy Balbirnie's side, they haven't won any of their last four ODI series. West Indies beat them 3-0 at the turn of the decade, before the first leg of international cricket in the post-pandemic era saw England vanquish the Irish 2-1. Ireland drew a two-match series against the United Arab Emirates at the start of 2021 and were then whitewashed 3-0 by Afghanistan in the same month.
Although form isn't on their side, Ireland have a superior head-to-head record against their continental rivals. Seven of the ten matches Netherlands and Ireland have played against each other in ODIs have ended in favor of the latter, with one ending without a result.
Netherlands vs Ireland 2021: 1st ODI Match Prediction
Ireland are the definite favorites heading into this game, not only because of a more experienced squad but also due to their relatively higher activity in international cricket.
With Andrew Balbirnie at the helm of affairs and performers like Kevin O'Brien, William Porterfield and Paul Stirling part of the side, the Men in Green have a solid batting line-up. Stirling has an excellent record athe Netherlandserlands with almost 300 runs at an average of 47.66, while former Ireland captain Porterfield has 328.
Gareth Delany and Harry Tector add youthful exuberance to the team, whose bowling attack features well-known names like Andy McBrine, George Dockrell and Mark Adair.
Netherlands, meanwhile, are heavily dependent on their captain Pieter Seelaar to come up with the goods in both departments. Max O'Dowd has been nothing short of spectacular since his introduction to ODI cricket, but the team lacks experience and veteran leadership.
Not much is known about the wicket at the Sportpark Maarschalkerweerd, which has never hosted an ODI match before. But the two T20Is that have been played at the venue yielded low-scoring encounters, hinting that the inexperienced Dutch batting lineup might have too much on thei plate.
And while Netherlands can't be counted out of this encounter, Ireland are predicted to get the better of the Oranje, who have never beaten their opponents on home soil.
Prediction: Ireland to win
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