ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. First RoundStadium: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
In this Group A battle of the first round, the Republic of Ireland will fight it out against the Netherlands. Ireland is ranked thirteenth in the ICC rankings while the Netherlands is at the sixteenth position right now. Ireland will be favored to win against the Netherlands but it doesn’t mean that the Dutchmen can be treated as pushovers.
Ireland prides itself on an impressive top order with Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, and Andy Balbirnie at the top. These three are also the most experienced batters on the team, Paul has played 88 matches, Kevin a whopping 108, while the skipper Andy has featured in 54 games. Stirling has been the most in-form batter, cracking 371 runs in the last 11 innings. Down the order, Dockrell, Delany, Tector, Camphor, and Simi Singh have also chipped in with decent contributions every now and then but the top-three is the heart and soul of this team.
Ireland has made strides recently in having a potent bowling line-up. The pace trio of Mark Adair, Craig Young, and Josh Little has been impressive andJosh seems to be the most effective one at the moment. Little has been the most economical of the three, going around an economy of around 6 in the last 6-7 games. Meanwhile, spinner Simi Singh is a proven all-rounder in the format and can be rounded as an “X-Factor” for the Irish effort. Overall, Ireland has some highly talented bowlers and batters, and if the team gels, they can hunt down a Super 12s spot with ease.
The Netherlands is a highly experienced squad and there is no doubt that the team has been an effective unit at the Associate level. Players like Ben Cooper, Pieter Seelaar, Ryan ten Deoschete, and Roelof van der Merwe have made multiple appearances in the T20 tournaments. Among the batters, Max O’Dowd has emerged as one of their marquee players, who has clinched 172 runs in the last four T20Is. Batters Ben Cooper, Steven Myburgh, ten Deoschete also have chipped in with regular contributions, all averaging in excess of the 20s. The Netherlands has a more experienced middle-order than Ireland and this is where the team has a definitive edge. Scott Edwards is the most powerful striker in the team and can act as the “X-Factor”.
The pace attack is no less effective while captain Pieter Seelaar and Reolef van der Merwe are stifling spin options. Paul van Mekeeren comes with CPL experience while Fred Klaasen also comes off an impressive The Hundred campaign. These three can wreak havoc on their day and can cause trouble if there is help for the bowling unit. Roelof van der Merwe has been a tremendous spin option for years and again, the bowlers have more experience than the Irish unit.
Pitch Conditions and Head-to-Head
The stadium hosted six IPL matches recently, and the scores went in the 180s in a couple of games, while in others 130-160 range was achieved, with the lowest score being 92. It means that there is no fixed way of describing the pitch, mostly because different tracks were laid down during the tournament. This pitch has been on the slower side mostly and has big boundaries, so if the spinners keep it tight then we can see a game in the 130-150 range. In this case, the Netherlands’ more effective spin attack combo of Roelof van der Merwe and Pieter Seelaar can take control of the situation.
Ireland and Netherlands have met two times in the T20 World Cup and the Dutch Men have won against Irish men on both of those occasions. In the overall head-to-head, Netherlands has a 7-4 win advantage too. When the teams last met in the World Cup Qualifiers T20, Netherlands won by 19 runs where the Dutch spinners did a choke-job on Ireland in Dubai.
Expert Betting Tips
Despite the overall advantage in overall head-to-head, the Netherlands can be surprised by the Irish unit here. What is the reason for that? The Irish top order can be a game-changer and can negate the advantage of experience. It is not like the Netherlands are heavily outmatched but with its talented youngsters, Ireland’s new era may kickstart soon.
- Republic of Ireland to win for 1.676;
- Ireland Total Runs- 1st to 10th Over for Over 72.5