The series has been quite interesting so far. Ireland entered the contest with a superior record over their European rivals, whose last win against the visitors came back in 2007. Moreover, the Netherlands had never won a home ODI against Ireland.
However, the Netherlands made their intentions clear in the series opener. Although their batting didn't come to the party on a sticky Utrecht wicket, the bowling stepped up to unsettle the Irish batting lineup and pull off an upset.
The second ODI saw normal ways resume, as Ireland registered a convincing eight-wicket win. Twin four-fors from Craig Young and Josh Little ensured that they had to chase a below-par total, before fifties from captain Andrew Balbirnie and in-form opener Paul Stirling took them home with seven overs to spare.
With valuable points in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League on the line, the third ODI between Ireland and the Netherlands promises to be a cracking encounter.
Netherlands vs Ireland 2021: 3rd ODI Match Prediction
On a difficult wicket at the Sportpark Maarschalkerweerd, the key to the third ODI will lie in the batting department of both teams.
For the Netherlands, openers Stephan Myburgh and Max O'Dowd need to convert their starts. Both batsmen have survived the opening phase without incident, but have failed to carry on and register a big score that would help the middle order play around.
Speaking of the middle order, the Netherlands' batsmen have disappointed in the middle overs. Captain Pieter Seelaar has failed to fire with the bat, as have Bas de Leede and Ben Cooper. The lower order has shown resistance and application to a decent degree, but they can't bail the team out on a regular basis.
On the other hand, Ireland suffered a late collapse in the first ODI before the top order came to the party in the second. But the form of former captain William Porterfield remains a concern, with the southpaw having only five runs in this series so far. Balbirnie and Stirling are the cornerstones of the Ireland batting lineup, while Simi Singh has also made a handy contribution.
Both teams' bowling attacks have delivered so far. Fred Klaasen, Timm van der Gugten and Logan van Beek have bowled admirably for the Netherlands, while almost every Ireland bowler has been both economical and wicket-taking. Both teams will look to continue in the same vein in the series decider.
The wicket in Utrecht has been a major talking point so far. Ireland's inability to adjust in the 1st ODI cost them dearly, but they rapidly overcame any obstacles by spending time at the crease. The Netherlands, meanwhile, may not have the requisite quality or experience to rack up a par total.
Both teams might consider a couple of changes, although they'll look to keep the balance of their playing XI intact for the all-important game. On paper, Ireland have the more settled lineup. They also have a significant momentum advantage, having brushed aside the Netharlands in the previous game.
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Although the Dutchmen will put up a fight at home, Ireland can be backed to win the series with a good performance in the third and final ODI.
Prediction: Ireland to win