Two sides with a win in their first group game lock horns in the next Group A match in Abu Dhabi in Ireland vs Sri Lanka.
Both teams will be absolutely delighted to have got their respective World Cups off to flying starts. Sri Lanka had the tricky task of seeing off T20 World Cup new boys Namibia and did it with aplomb, beating the team from Africa by seven wickets and reaching the Namibian's first innings total with six and a half overs to go.
Ireland, on paper, had a much trickier assignment against a Dutch side that had beaten them the last time the two sides met. However, a great performance from bowler Curtis Campher, who took four wickets in four bowls, flipped the match on its head, limiting the potentially dangerous Dutch batting line up to just 110. The Irish never looked in danger and, despite losing three wickets, achieved the Dutch total with just under five overs left in the game.
For this match, the Sri Lankans are the heavy favourites, priced at 1.40. The Irish can be backed at 3.00.
Ireland vs Sri Lanka T20 World Cup
Team news for Sri Lanka
Its a sign as to how far the Sri Lankans have fallen that a side that won the T20 World Cup back in 2014 and made the semis back in 2010 has dropped down the rankings far enough that they need to qualify from the first round of the tournament to make the Super 12s.
Placed in Group A, it's a group full of potential banana skins; the Sri Lankans will be ecstatic as to how quickly and efficiently they got the job done against Namibia. We have already seen Bangladesh come unstuck against Scotland, but Sri Lanka ensured they went about the job in a thoroughly professional manner.
In their seven-wicket victory over the African minnows, the star of the show was 21-year-old spinner Maheesh Theekshana. Theekshana picked up three wickets at an economy rate of just over six per over. The pitch seemed to suit his bowling style perfectly. Theekshana was supported by fellow bowler Wanindu Hasaranga who took 2 wickets for the loss of 25 runs.
Look for Sri Lanka to use their spinners to try and dominate this match, Hasaranga will once again be the key man, and he is priced at 2.20 to take over 1.5 match wickets.
Likely playing 11 of Sri Lanka
Pathum Nissanka, Dinesh Chandimal, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Akila Dananjaya
Team News for Ireland
Ireland enter these tournaments often with a lot of expectation and pressure. Of all the emerging nations competing in the tournament's first round, they are the most experienced. They have an array of talent that plays in the English county cricket scene and franchise tournaments such as The Hundred. In the last few World Cups, the Irish have flattered to deceive, but they have given themselves the perfect platform to advance to the Super 12s and can all but ensure qualification with a victory over Sri Lanka.
The star in the game against the Dutch was Irish quick Curtis Campher, who took four wickets in four balls, becoming the first man in T20 World Cup history to achieve this remarkable feat. Campher finished the match with figures of 4-26.
Despite his figures and match-winning performance, Campher is 5.00 to be Ireland's top wicket-taker in the contest against Sri Lanka, and that could be one of the best value bets on offer.
Likely playing 11 of Ireland
Paul Stirling, Gareth Delany, Andy Balbirnie, Kevin O'Brien, Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Simi Singh, Neil Rock, Joshua Little, Craig Young
Pitch and Weather Conditions
This contest will take place in Abu Dhabi at the Zayed Sports City Stadium. This stadium is one of the better pitches in the UAE for allowing the ball to come onto the bat, and the scoring has been higher here than in other stadiums being used in this World Cup.
Used for both international T20 games as well as the IPL, the average score in the first innings is 156, and the average winning score in the first innings is up at 176. Over the course of all T20 matches that have been completed in Abu Dhabi, there isn't really too much of an advantage to the team that chooses to bat first or second. The team that bats first has won 33 times, with the team that bats second winning 41 times.
Betting Predictions for Ireland vs Sri Lanka
Now let's take a look at a few important betting predictions for Ireland vs Sri Lanka:
Match Result Prediction
These sides last met in the T20 format back in 2009, where the Sri Lankans ran out winners by 9 runs. The match was tight back then, and it promises to be once again.
The crucial factor in this match will be the conditions, they will favour the Sri Lankans, and Sri Lanka's spinners will have a real say as to who will come out on top.
Ireland's strengths lie in their batting, particularly the experienced top three of Kevin O'Brien, Paul Stirling, and Andrew Balbirnie. If Ireland are to be successful, then these three will need to score a lot of runs. If Sri Lanka can remove them cheaply, they have to be the overwhelming favourites.
Match Winner: Sri Lanka (1.40)
Place a bet on Bet365 and get a welcome bonus of up to Rs. 4,000 if you bet on Sri Lanka to win in Ireland vs Sri Lanka T20 World Cup.
Either team to win the toss can be backed at 1.91. On a pitch that should offer something to both batsmen and bowlers, the team that wins the toss will be looking to chase as the ground seems to favour the chasing team slightly. For the team that bats first, the average score in the first innings is 156, so anything over this will be somewhat tough to chase.
Place a bet on Betway and get a 100% welcome bonus of up to Rs. 2,500 if you bet on the toss outcome in Ireland vs Sri Lanka T20 World Cup.
Top Batsman for Ireland
We stayed away from him for Ireland's last match against the Netherlands, but we are going to back Paul Stirling to be Ireland's top run-scorer in this match.
Stirling has been a T20 stalwart for both his country and county over the years and is one of the best T20 players in the UK and Ireland. Stirling can play well in these conditions and scored 30 in Ireland's first game. He averages a tick over 30 in his T20 international career and has one international T20 century. He is a class apart from the rest of the Irish team, and against good quality opposition, we are backing Stirling to have a decisive say in the match.
Paul Stirling to be Ireland's top-scoring batsman (3.40)
Place a bet on 1xbet by registering with the code 1BETINDIA1 and get a 130% bonus of up to Rs. 13,000 if you bet on Paul Stirling to be Ireland's top batsman in Ireland vs Sri Lanka T20 World Cup.