Cricket fans are having a ball just now as the ICC Cricket World Cup grows more exciting by the day. Unfortunately, it was a tale of woe for the Irish squad, who didn’t qualify for this year’s tournament. Competing to lift the trophy may have evaded them this time, but fans could still have something to cheer about this month when Ireland face Zimbabwe in this month’s T20s.
Ireland looking fierce already
Things have already got off to a good start in the series, with Ireland taking the win over Zimbabwe in the opening match, a one day international (ODI), by four wickets. Fans will be hoping the victory is a sign of things to come and anyone who’s into online betting May well feel their money will look good with the boys in green. Meanwhile, the team itself will be looking forward to the remaining ODIs at Stormont. William Porterfield will captain the side for the ODIs and Gary Wilson will do so for the T20s.
When the first T20 match takes place on 10 July, Ireland will be coming out swinging, with Kevin O’Brien getting the batting underway for the squad. Zimbabwe won’t be looking forward to seeing him or Andrew Balbirnie again. Balbirnie hit a century against them in the first ODI.Another play who will make the visitors feel a little nervous is Mark Adair after he took Tinashe Kamunhukamwe’s middle wicket with his first ball in the ODI.
Balancing youth and experience
The past few months have given the coach, Graham Ford, time to experiment and fans will see a balanced squad full of talent and experience. Ford has called upon Gareth Delany to make his debut in the T20. The right-handed spinner has proved his cricketing mettle with the Wolves and at the interprovincial level.
Delany isn’t the only one who’ll have been happy to receive an Ireland call–up. Batsman Greg Thompson has been recalled to the squad, a recognition of his devastating form this season. The batsman has made it his with 570 runs for his club, the Northern Knights, across all the competitions. That includes 65* from just 31 balls in a game against Leinster Lightning.
Thinking of the World Cup Qualifiers
These T20s will allow Ford to expand the squad and fine tune it for the T20 World Cup qualifiers, which the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will host in October. A trip to Lordsand a four day battle with the English awaits the team, too, following the T20s versus Zimbabwe, and will also provide the coach with some insight into how his team is gelling.
The results may not have gone Ireland’s way when it came to qualifying for this year’s World Cup, but the ODIs and T20s bring the squad fresh opportunities to correct any issues within the team and reward all the fans that make the journey to cheer them on. The players have been in ferocious form and will be hungry to compete in the next World Cup. Hopefully, these T20s will allow them to find that magical form for when the qualifiers arrive.