Match preview – Ireland vs Netherlands, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021/22, 3rd Match, First Round Group A


Paul Stirling’s star form will however be a sharp arrow in Ireland’s quiver

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Do whatever you want with the T20 World Cup format, which essentially puts a qualifying round at the top of the tournament, but Ireland and the Netherlands know exactly what’s at stake over the next few days. These two have been here before and, with both teams aiming to defeat Sri Lanka, the only former T20 world champions to be forced to participate in this stage of the competition, there is every chance that they come face to face. for one of the two places available.

It was during the 2014 edition in Bangladesh, won by Sri Lanka, that Ireland and the Netherlands played one of the most extraordinary matches in the history of the competition. Ireland, knowing that a victory for Sylhet would take them to the Super 10 stage, posted 189 for 4 of their 20 overs; The Netherlands were still in contention, but to overtake their opponents and Zimbabwe on NRR the target would have to be hit in 14.2 overs.
In the event, they only needed 13.5, as Stephan Myburgh – back in the fold for this tournament – threw 63 out of 23 balls at the top of the order and the brilliant Oranje rushed to ‘at the main event, where they pulled off another memorable scalp. by humiliating England in Chattogram.
Ireland, for its part, has experienced a period of transition since the golden generation which had such an impact in the World Cup 50s between 2007 and 2015. It has never reached the same heights in T20, despite its victory over Bangladesh in 2009 and their progression from Group A. that would be an important achievement. With Paul Stirling in the form of his life and new talent starting to break through – seeing Gareth Delany’s undefeated 88 on 50 balls against Bangladesh in the warm-ups – this could be their time to storm the top table again. cricket.

Players to watch

The partnership of Stirling and Kevin O’Brien at the top of the order is likely to be key for Ireland, as captain Andy Balbirnie noted during the preparation. Since O’Brien, the all-round veteran and Bangalore hero in 2011, rose to No. 1 in the T20Is two years ago, he and Stirling have scored 1,479 points together with an average of 39.97.
Myburgh and ten Doeschate are 78 combined and will act as standard bearers, but watch out for opener Max O’Dowd as well. In April, he scored 133 steps on 73 balls – the highest T20I score by a partner and the fifth highest overall. Okay, it was against Malaysia. But only one other hitter made more than 31s in the game.

Form Guide

Ireland’s rise to power has been complete, if not entirely fluid. They were Zimbabwe’s 3-2 home winners in September, but went on to lose 2-1 to the United Arab Emirates – who failed to advance to the World Cup. In the warm-ups, a straight win over Papua New Guinea, with impressive 23-year-old leg-spinner Ben White, was followed by fireworks from Delany helping them topple Bangladesh, suggesting that the Ireland may have found its rhythm at the right time.
The Dutch didn’t have much of a chance to refine their T20 plans ahead of the tournament, having last played the format internationally in a tri-series in Nepal in April. They scored 91 points in their first warm-up game, as they chased just 123 to beat Scotland, but put in a more convincing batting performance in a narrow victory over Oman. As a group, they don’t often play together – so they need to solidify quickly.

Statistics that matter

  • The Netherlands have an excellent record against Ireland in T20. Coming back to the 2014 T20 World Cup, they won seven out of ten matches, with one retirement.
  • The Irish squad has eight players aged 25 or under; The Netherlands have four.
  • Estimate

    “Every match is a must-play game for us. So you come out with the same intention, the same determination. I don’t think in all these years I’ve been involved in cricket, I’ve come out saying: “Well, it doesn’t matter if we lose tomorrow”.
    Ireland coach Graham Ford on the importance of victory

    “We don’t disrespect Ireland, we don’t disrespect anyone. We think both teams are full of very good competitors and very good cricketers. But you have to perform on the same day.”
    Netherlands coach Ryan campbell think the two teams are tied

    Alan Gardner is associate editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

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