Cricket: Zimbabwe vs Ireland – ODI Series
1st ODI – Zimbabwe vs Ireland – Harare Sports Club
Having recently played out an enthralling T20 series, Zimbabwe and Ireland face off once more in a three-match ODI series. For both sides, getting a solid run of form together is key with the ODI World Cup on the horizon in India at the end of 2023. 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 a fantastic series. With so much to play for, this should be an excellent series between two quality sides, with plenty to prove at this level.
Match Preview: Zimbabwe vs Ireland – 1st ODI
Match Winner Odds:
It has been a positive few years for Zimbabwe in the white ball sphere and they will be looking to build upon that with the 50-over World Cup on the horizon. Beating Ireland in the recent T20 series between the sides is sure to give Zimbabwe a real confidence boost heading into this one and they will be all too aware of the importance of putting on a performance for their home fans here. 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.
With Test status already secured and some excellent results against higher-ranked sides in recent years, Irish cricket is continually making huge leaps forward. 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. Curtis Campher and Gareth Delany are two genuine all-rounders, who can change the game with both bat and ball, and they could be vital here too. 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 is as cultured as it comes at this level and he will be leading from the front for his side here.
Top Ireland Batsman – Andrew Balbirnie – 33/10
Captain Andrew Balbirnie is a hugely talented ball striker, who can hit the ball 360 degrees and his innovation could prove invaluable for Ireland in this one.
Top Zimbabwe Bowler – Ryan Burl – 4/1
Playing with confidence is key at international level and Ryan Burl has been changing the game with both bat and ball in recent weeks, something that could come in handy in this opening game of the series.
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.
Zimbabwe to win the match – 11/20
There is very little to split these sides on paper, with plenty of quality performers in both sides but home advantage and a good recent run of form could propel Zimbabwe over the line in this one.