After a tense T20 series that saw Ireland emerge victorious 3-2, both Ireland and Zimbabwe now focus attention on the first of three ODIs. Ireland vs Zimbabwe 1st ODI 2021 will take place at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Each ODI within the series is important as each side will look to earn crucial points that will go towards qualification for the 2023 World Cup.
Ireland vs Zimbabwe 1st ODI 2021
Heading into the ODI series, Ireland have to be considered favourites for the series following a battling 1-1 draw against South Africa. After a slow start to the T20 series, Ireland came on strong, winning three consecutive matches before going on to lose match 5. Ahead of the T20 World Cup, they would have been delighted that key players such as Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien were able to find some form and spend some much-needed time in the middle. Despite the format change, Ireland will be looking to gain momentum ahead of those crucial World Cup games that are appearing over the horizon.
Likely playing 11 of Ireland
Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, Andy Balbirnie, Shane Getkate, George Dockrell, William McClintock, Neil Rock(wk), Simi Singh, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Craig Young
Due to Covid wreaking havoc on scheduling, Zimbabwe have played very little ODI cricket this year, only playing three matches against Bangladesh and losing the series 3-0. In the T20s, Zimbabwe, at times, seemed to struggle with the Irish conditions, with the batsmen struggling in the seaming conditions. Zimbabwe need to win the series to help bolster their chances of qualifying for the World Cup in 2023. A key question mark remains over the status of star batsman, Brendan Taylor. Omitted from the T20s, Taylor's inclusion would help strengthen a fragile batting lineup.
Likely playing 11 of Zimbabwe
Wesley Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Regis Chakabva, Dion Myers, Craig Ervine, Milton Shumba, Luke Jongwe, Donald Tiripano, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava
Pitch and Weather Conditions
The weather on Wednesday looks overcast, with hopefully the rain staying away. With cloud cover across the entire match, expect batting to be tricky and conditions that should suit the bowlers. Look for the team who wins the toss to bat first, as chasing in the second innings will be a real challenge.
Betting Predictions for Ireland vs Zimbabwe 1st ODI 2021
Match Result Prediction
With the series having serious ramifications for the 2023 World Cup qualification, both sides will be gunning for victory. The betting is tight for the first match of the series, with Ireland at 1.5 and Zimbabwe 2.63. With conditions primed to suit them and carrying the momentum through from their T20 series win, the sensible bet has to be on Ireland winning the first match of the series.
Winner: Ireland (1.50 from Bet365)
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Paul Stirling to be Ireland's leading batsman
Paul Stirling was looking for form heading into the T20 series, and it certainly arrived, as Stirling became only the second Irish player in T20 history to score a century. Stirling has some very impressive stats in the 50 over format, averaging 39 and having scored 12 ODI centuries. Stirling will look to continue where he left off in his last ODI series, and he can be backed at 3.4 to be Ireland's leading run-scorer.
Paul Stirling to be Ireland's leading run-scorer: Yes (3.4 from Bet365)
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Fall of Zimbabwe's first wicket
As the T20 series continued, Zimbabwe's struggles with the bat grew. With conditions looking to be overcast, Ireland's bowlers will be licking their lips at the prospect of unleashing a swinging ball at a frail Zimbabwe batting lineup. Betway is offering odds of 1.83 for the first Zimbabwe wicket to fall when the score is under 21.5 runs, and that could be a great way to bet.
First Zimbabwe wicket to fall under 21.5 runs: Yes (1.83 from Betway)
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A century to be scored in the match
Both teams have players in their batting lineups that could score a century in this ODI match. However, with conditions looking overcast, the game's high stakes, and with plenty of assistance on hand for the bowlers, we aren’t backing a century to be scored in the match at odds of 1.67.
A century to be scored in the match: No (1.67 from Casumo)
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