After an entertaining, if not entirely straightforward, series so far, the trophy is up for grabs heading into the final match of this West Indies vs Ireland ODI series. Both teams will surely be desperate to win the match, and not just for the ODI Super League points on offer. Read on for LWOC’s full West Indies vs Ireland Third ODI preview and prediction:
West Indies vs Ireland Third ODI Preview and Prediction
Series So Far
The West Indies hadn’t played an ODI for quite some time coming into this series, but they made light of that to post a relatively imposing 269 on a surface that wasn’t entirely straightforward to bat on. Ireland threatened in the chase, with Andy Balbirnie compiling a well-made 71 from the top of the order and Harry Tector contributing 53 from his spot at four. But when he got out to the bowling of Odean Smith, Ireland fell away as the West Indies wrapped up a 24 run victory.
Ireland, however, fought back impressively in the second match of the series. They were without their captain Balbirnie, but took three early wickets and eventually reduced the hosts to 111-7 after a middle order collapse. Romario Shepherd combined with Smith to give the Windies something to bowl out, but in a chase disrupted by rain, Ireland were home and dry with 21 balls to spare thanks in main to the contributions of Andy McBrine and Tector.
It would be a surprise to see many changes for either team. Shai Hope and Justin Greaves haven’t really got going yet in this series, but both have credit in the bank – particularly the former. Nicholas Pooran, meanwhile, is in real need of some runs but he too is just about assured of a place in the XI. Shamarh Brooks has had a good series batting at four, Roston Chase, in contrast, may well be disappointed by his efforts so far after scores of one and 13 so far.
Captain Kieron Pollard offers a destructive option in the middle order whilst Jason Holder, in at seven, can contribute effectively with both bat and ball, though he has not been at his best so far in this series. Akeal Hossain remains a real threat with the ball, whilst Shepherd and Smith will doubtless be delighted with their efforts with the bat in the last match, if less so with the ball. Alzarri Joseph will come in to bat at 11.
Paul Stirling became the first Irish batter to cross 5000 ODI runs, but was out for just 21 runs although he did have a strike rate of 140. The hugely experienced William Porterfield will keep his place with Andy Balbirnie out after a positive covid-19 test. McBrine, who has had a fine series so far, will bat at three, with Tector, also in form, in at four. Curtis Campher will bat at five with George Dockrell and Gareth Delaney in after him. Neil Rock will have the gloves in Lorcan Tucker’s absence, with the XI rounded out by Mark Adair, Craig Young and Josh Little.
It has been an encouraging tour for Ireland who will doubtless be desperate to return to the ODI World Cup in 2023 after missing out on the last edition. That may be easier said than done, particularly as they rarely get the opportunity to play on home turf, but stranger things have certainly happened. It would also not be a massive shock to see them come out on top here. But the West Indies’ strength in depth and experience makes them the favourites, and rightly so.
Prediction: West Indies win.
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