Fri, Mar 11, 9:22am by Kevin Pitstock
Ireland’s Past Five ODI’s:
West Indies Past Five ODI’s:
The return of Ed Joyce to the Irish team has not paid dividends for either party at this World Cup – yet. The 32-year-old has scored 16, 32 and four in his three innings so far, failing to force the pace of the ball and assert himself at the wicket. With an ODI century against Australia in 2007, there is no doubting Joyce’s ability with the bat at international level. The former England batsman, who plays such a vital role at first drop, needs to occupy the crease for a longer period of time tonight.
Kemar Roach has been one of the most damaging bowlers of this World Cup, let alone his team’s most threatening. The 27-year-old has taken 10 wickets for the tournament so far, including a haul of 6/27 against Netherlands. While Ireland is still considered a ‘minnow’ or weaker team, its batting line-up is likely to offer a little more resistance than teams like Bangladesh or the Dutch. But if fast man Roach can make full use of the pace-friendly Chandigarh pitch, the somewhat experiences Irish batsmen will struggle to establish themselves at the wicket.
Sunny and clear – maximum temperature of 25 degrees
Due to this game not involving India, a little extra grass has been left on the wicket. The seam bowlers must make full use of this and the expected overcast weather early on, because once batsmen get set at the wicket, runs will start to flow as the overs progress.
Likely Ireland Team:
Likely West Indies Team:
After its remarkable 2007 World Cup campaign, Ireland has come to the subcontinent seemingly wanting an encore performance. With 13 of the 15 squad members considered professional cricket players, there is no reason why it can’t compete with the boys from the Caribbean in Chandigarh.
However the Windies have been somewhat impressive in their three matches to date. They expectedly lost to South Africa, but followed up with demolitions of Netherlands and Bangladesh – the latter a team that was expected to challenge for a quarter-final spot on its home turf.
The fight for a spot in the final eight in Group B seems a little more intense than Group A, hence why this is an absolutely crucial match for both teams. A West Indies victory would see it consolidate its spot in the top four, something very handy with games against the big boys – India and England – still to come. However a win for Ireland would see them draw level with the Windies on four points with a game against Netherlands still to come, which they are expected to win.
On paper, these two teams are match up very evenly. They both have class at the top of the order and a good combination of spin and pace in their bowling attacks.
However this is a game Ireland simply has to win. We saw how passionate the Irish team and their fans are about succeeding in world cricket when they knocked off England last week. If the Windies are even slightly off their game –which is a strong chance because of complacency – the Irish will pounce and strengthen their chances of a quarter-final birth.
Best Head-To-Head Bet:
Ireland ($4.90 – Sportsbet)
Other Suggsted Bets:
Ireland High Bat – Ed Joyce ($5.00 – Sportingbet)
Man of the Match – Ed Joyce ($26.00 – Sportingbet)
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