Date: October 18, 2021
Time: 3:30 PM IST
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Live Ball-by-ball Commentary: SportsTiger App
Preview: After the Men’s T20 World Cup got underway at Oman on Sunday, the action will shift to Abu Dhabi on Monday. Ireland and Netherlands will go head to head in a Group A clash in the afternoon match in what is expected to be a thrilling affair. While both teams have players who can win them matches on their day, they are not new to the world stage and have been competing in world events regularly. With experience and talent on both sides of the balance, here is a try to understand which team can have an upper hand moving into this fixture based on the following factors:
1. Head to head record
The overall head-to-head record clearly suggests that it is the Netherlands who have enjoyed a superior run in this rivalry. While the Dutch enjoy an overall 7-4 advantage, as far as the matches in World T20 Cup are concerned, it is yet again Netherlands who tasted wins on both the occasions the teams met each other.
However, in UAE conditions the Irish side have a better record having won 2 in comparison to Netherland’s 1 in the overall 3 matches.
2. Recent form
Ireland will enter this game on the back of wins in both the warm-up fixtures against Papua New Guinea and Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Netherlands have had a bittersweet beginning so far, having fallen to a defeat against Scotland in their first warm-up match but registering a narrow win over Oman in the second.
Prior to this, Ireland had put up a spirited show against UAE, tied the ODI series against Zimbabwe while also winning the T20I series. For Netherlands, there also would be a psychological advantage having beaten the same side in the ODI series between the two teams back in June this year. Although they have not played too many matches since then, the warm-up matches might have set them up perfectly for the big event.
3. ICC Rankings
While Ireland are ranked 12th in the ICC Rankings for teams in T20Is with 190 rating points, Netherlands are ranked 17th with 175 points.
The rankings are a indication of the teams’ recent forms. Moreover, in this format, it is often the top order who define the course of the match which is where Ireland seem to have an edge. The likes of Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, and Andy Balbirnie will not only bat somewhere in the top order but have enough matches under their belt to know the nerves of the game.
On the other hand, Netherlands bank on their experience and have players like Pieter Seelaar, Ryan ten Deoschete in their ranks who have played several big tournaments in their careers but against a rising and emerging Irish side they might struggle to catch up.
The match could go either way but at the outset, Ireland seems to be slightly ahead.