West Indies and Ireland are set to lock horns in the first game of their three-match ODI series on Saturday, January 8, at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
West Indies, led by Kieron Pollard, have a power-packed squad at their disposal. However, their recent form hasn’t been great. They failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup 2021m losing four of five games.
Moreover, they lost the two-match Test series in Sri Lanka pretty comprehensively. Their three-match ODI series against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi couldn’t take place due to COVID-19 cases in the visitors’ camp.
West Indies have quite a few young players who had their chances in the T20I series against Pakistan last month. However, in 2021, the team lost five of their nine games.
After starting the year with three losses against Bangladesh, they beat Sri Lanka in three ODIs. Thereafter, they lost a three-match series against Australia 1-2 at home.
Meanwhile, Ireland, led by Andrew Balbirnie, were scheduled to play two T20Is against USA. The ODIs couldn’t take place due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Ireland didn’t have a great T20 World Cup campaign, failing to qualify for the group stage.
Ireland didn’t quite make the greatest of starts to their ODI sojourn in 2021. They started the year with a defeat against the United Arab Emirates, after which Afghanistan defeated them 3-0 in Abu Dhabi. Their biggest moment in ODIs came when they beat South Africa by 43 runs.
Captain Balbirnie was the Player of the Match after he made a 117-ball 102, laced with ten fours and two sixes. Harry Tector also lent him apt support with a handy 79-run knock. Thereafter, the bowlers came to the party, and restricted the Proteas to 247 in 48.3 overs.
Can Ireland beat the West Indies?
West Indies look the stronger of the two teams on paper, without a shred of a doubt. However, they can’t afford to underestimate Ireland.
West Indies will enter the game as the favourites, but Ireland could beat the odds to give their opponents a run for their money.
Prediction - West Indies to win the game.
Q. Will Ireland beat the West Indies?
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