Our Prediction is Ireland to win!
Zimbabwe is experiencing a bad time with off-field corruption issues on their cricket board and their players must put some good performances in their matches to soothe the pain of their fans. Skipper Hamilton Masakadza was not amongst the runs in the recently concluded series against the Netherlands. Brendon Taylor (122 runs), Craig Ervine (100 runs), and Sikander Raza (96 runs) were amongst the runs and scored 50+ scores in their last two matches. Elton Chigumbara played an aggressive cameo of 18-ball 29 in the last T20I and may find a place in the playing XI. Sean William was the only successful bowler in the 2-match ODI series capturing 6 wickets. Chris Mpofu showed some good aggressive bowling in the T20Is taking 4 wickets. Donald Tiripano, Ainsley Ndlovu, and Tendai Chatara must stand up and perform with the ball to help their team.
Ireland is having a good cricket season back home with many back-to-back ODI series. Ireland will be looking to beat Zimbabwe to achieve their first home series victory this year. William Porterfield and Paul Stirling scored runs consistently for their team in the recent ODI series. Andrew Balbirnie, Kevin O Brian, and Gary Wilson made some crucial contributions with the bat, but they need to be more consistent with the bat. Mark Adair has been their leading wicket-taker last series with 7 wickets in just 2 matches. Boyd Rankin, Tim Murtagh, and Andy McBrine are experienced bowlers who are expected to control the innings by bowling attacking lien and lengths. All-rounder Simi Singh is the spin bowler in the squad and might partner Paul Stirling in the middle overs.
Paul Stirling – Stirling has scores of 77, 130, 71 & 50 in the last four innings he played. He needs to bat steadily at the top to help his team build good innings. He is in a purple patch and we expect him to dominate bowlers with the bat.
Mark Adair – Adair has taken wickets consistently for Ireland this year and he took 7 wickets in the two matches against Afghanistan. Mark Adair needs to continue his good showing with the ball and take wickets consistently very early in the match.
William Porterfield (c), Kevin O Brien, Gary Wilson (wk), Paul Stirling, George Dockrell, Tim Murtagh, Andrew Balbirnie, Mark Adair, Boyd Rankin, Andy McBrine, James McCollum
James McCollum, Kevin O'Brien, Mark Richard Adair, Andy McBrine, WTS Porterfield, Paul Stirling, Shane Getkate, WB Rankin, Tim Murtagh, Lorcan Tucker, Andy Balbirnie
Brendon Taylor – Taylor scored fifties in both the matches against Netherlands in the ODI series. He is an experienced campaigner who has played a lot of international matches. Taylor needs to continue to his good form with the bat.
Sean Williams – Williams will be the frontline spinner in the team and he is expected to play a big role in this series. Sean Williams has poor returns with the bat in the last series and needs to score runs consistently with the bat.
Hamilton Masakadza (c), Solomon Mire, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor (wk), Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Peter Moor, Kyle Jarvis, Donald Tiripano, Chris Mpofu, Tendai Chatara
BRM Taylor, TS Kamunhukamwe, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Peter Moor, Hamilton Masakadza, Donald Tiripano, Tendai Chatara, Kyle Jarvis, Sean Williams
This is the first ODI match at the Breadly pitch and we have our fingers crossed about the pitch. This pitch had low scored in the T20I matches played here and is expected to aid bowlers more than the batsmen. The weather forecast looks cloudy and it has 40% chances of rain on match day.
Both captains will look to bowl first in the cloudy and overcast conditions and put opposition batsmen under pressure. Teams would be unaware of the good target on this pitch.
Ireland team has good experience of playing against the top teams like England, West Indies, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan recently in their home pitches. Zimbabwe team is struggling to find momentum and will look to change fortunes in this match. But, we expect Ireland team to win this match.