The first game of the three-match ODI series between Ireland and Zimbabwe is set to take place on Wednesday, September 8, at the Civil Service Cricket Club, Belfast.
Ireland, led by Andy Balbirnie, had an impressive time in the five-match T20I series. The hosts started with a three-run defeat in the first game, but came back to win three back-to-back matches. The victories also helped Ireland seal the fate of the T20I series.
In the final T20I, Zimbabwe salvaged some pride with a five-run win and the series ended at 3-2 in favor of Ireland. Paul Stirling was adjudged the Player of the Series for scoring 234 runs at an average of 58.50. Fast bowler Mark Adair was the leading wicket-taker with 10 scalps.
In the ODI format, Ireland and Zimbabwe have faced each other 13 times. The two teams have six wins each in those games, with one match back in 2007 ending in a tie. Ireland must also be high on confidence for the fact that in July they defeated South Africa in an ODI by 43 runs.
Match: Ireland vs Zimbabwe, 1st ODI
Date and Time: September 8, 2021 Thursday, 03:00 PM IST
Venue: Civil Service Cricket Club, Belfast
The conditions will be warm and sunny, with temperatures around 19 degrees Celsius. The humidity will be in the 80s and there is no chance of rain.
The venue in Belfast hasn’t been high-scoring over the years. The average score in 31 matches is 225. Out of the 28 completed games at the venue, the chasing teams have won 14 times. Batting second should be the way forward for the sides.
Predicted Playing XIs
Ireland will depend heavily on Paul Stirling to take them off to a flier. Skipper Andy Balbirnie also needs to be on top of his game. William Porterfield has also returned to the team. Adair has shown good form with the ball in hand and his role in the ODI series is expected to be critical.
Playing XI: Paul Stirling, William Porterfield, Andrew Balbirnie (c), George Dockrell, Curtis Campher, Neil Rock (wk), Andy McBrine, Simi Singh, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Craig Young
Craig Ervine was in stupendous form for Zimbabwe in the T20I series. He managed 160 runs at an average of 40 and would be looking to replicate something similar in the ODIs. Blessing Muzarabani has been a genuine wicket-taker for Zimbabwe and the onus will be on him to make breakthroughs.
Playing XI: Wesley Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Regis Chakabva (wk), Dion Myers, Craig Ervine (c), Milton Shumba, Donald Tiripano, Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava
Ireland will come into this match with a lot of momentum after beating Zimbabwe in the T20I series. Moreover, having already got the better of South Africa earlier, Ireland’s confidence must also be high. Ireland should be able to start with a win.
TV and live streaming details:
Live Streaming: Fancode