Cricket: Zimbabwe vs Ireland – ODI Series
2nd ODI – Zimbabwe vs Ireland – Harare Sports Club
The Zimbabwe vs Ireland ODI series reaches the halfway point, with the home side holding the advantage. Following on from the enthralling opener, there is plenty to play for in Harare and Ireland will be looking to battle their way back into the three-match contest. Both Zimbabwe and Ireland are two sides who are looking to break into the upper echelons of World ODI cricket and if recent battles between the two sides are anything to go by, this should be another decent game.
Match Preview: Zimbabwe vs Ireland – 2nd ODI
Match Winner Odds:
Backing up the first result of the series has been a problem for Zimbabwe in recent times and they will be doing all they can to kill off Ireland here. The 50-over World Cup is very much on the horizon later in the year and having a firmly established squad in India could pay dividends further down the line. Captain Craig Ervine will be a player they are looking towards for runs, with Sean Williams providing stability in the middle order and former England player Gary Balance sure to be playing with plenty of scrutiny on him in this series. Ryan Burl is one of the most in-form all-rounders in world cricket currently, capable of changing the game with both bat and ball, whilst Richard Ngrava and Tendai Chatara will be steaming in with ball in hand.
It is now or never for Ireland, who are 1-0 down in the series, with two games to play. There have been serious snippets of success for the Irish in recent years, but it is perhaps in the 50-over format where they have underwhelmed somewhat. Andrew Balbirnie is now the leader of the side and his runs at the top of the order are essential, as are the exploits of Harry Tector – who has developed into one of the most consistent performers in Irish cricket over the past 12 months. Paul Stirling is back in the mix, following his franchise cricket exploits whilst Curtis Campher and Gareth Delany are two genuine all-rounders, who can change the game with both bat and ball. Mark Adair brings the X-factor of pace to the Irish attack and with support from Barry McCarthy and the returning Joshua Little, it is a handy looking bowling department Ireland possess.
Match Betting Tips
Top Zimbabwe Batsman – Craig Ervine – 28/10
Zimbabwean captain Craig Ervine showed signs of finding form in the first game between the sides and he will be looking to kick on here.
Top Ireland Batsman – Paul Stirling – 3/1
Paul Stirling is devastating on his day and having missed out in the first game of the series he will be desperate to put on a show here.
Top Zimbabwe Bowler – Ryan Burl – 4/1
Having starred with the bat in the last game, it may be time for Ryan Burl to trouble the Irish batters with ball in hand and he is capable of changing absolutely any game he plays in.
Top Ireland Bowler – Joshua Little – 3/1
Ireland have worked hard in recent times to begin to produce top level pace bowlers, and Joshua Little has plenty of experience of ODI cricket and he will give the Zimbabwean batters the hurry up here.
Ireland to win the match – 15/10
In both the T20 series and the meeting between the sides in the recent World Cup, there has been very little to split them and with Ireland needing a win to stay in the series, they should get it here.