This Friday, 27th August, Ireland and Zimbabwe will meet at the Clontarf Cricket Ground for the first of five T20 International matchups. The series was initially due to be held earlier this summer, but it has been delayed until now due to coronavirus restrictions. Both sides will see this as a golden opportunity to register a rare series victory.
Ireland vs Zimbabwe 1st T20 2021
Ireland head into the series following a dismal year. Across both T20 and ODI’s this year, Ireland have played 14 fixtures, winning only 2, drawing 1, and losing 11.
Likely playing 11 of Ireland
Andrew Balbirnie, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker
Zimbabwe have also had a similarly difficult year, only winning 2 of their 15 competitive fixtures this year.
Likely playing 11 of Zimbabwe
Brendan Taylor, Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Luke Jongwe, Wesley Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Blessing Muzarabani, Dion Myers, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba
Pitch and Weather Conditions
Clontarf is a suburb south of Dublin, and the weather this week has been good with lots of sunshine. More of the same is expected on matchday; the weather should remain dry at a cool 18 degrees. The pitch will be firm, and there is a chance of some cloud cover which could make the ball swing.
Betting Predictions for Ireland vs Zimbabwe 1st T20 2021
Match Result Prediction
According to Bet365, Ireland is the current favourite at 1.72. In a cricketing world where it’s getting harder and harder for touring sides to pick up victories, we think Bet365 has just about got that right, and Ireland should be considered favourites.
Be mindful of the team that bats first in this game. In Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, and Andrew Balbirnie, Ireland have a top three that are experienced campaigners in this format. Batting in conditions they are comfortable in; these three can set a good foundation and put Ireland in a strong position. The team that has batted first has managed to win the last six T20’s that Ireland have competed in, and for Zimbabwe, seven out of the last 9 have been won by the team that has opened proceedings.
Winner: Ireland (1.72 from Bet365)
Place a bet on Ireland to win at Bet365.
Highest Irish run-scorer
Ireland’s most recent T20 series was a 3-0 defeat to South Africa. The top run-scorer for Ireland across those three matches was captain Andrew Balbirnie, who scored 55 runs. Although it's not a great total, Balbirnie has shown in the past that he can be a top-quality operator. Priced at 4.5 to be Ireland’s top batsman in this first fixture could present some real value.
Highest Irish run-scorer: Andrew Balbirnie (4.5 from Betway)
Place a bet on Andrew Balbirnie to be the highest Irish run-scorer at Betway.
Highest Zimbabwe run-scorer
In Zimbabwe’s last three-match T20 series against Bangladesh, one batter stood out amongst the rest, and that was Wesley Madhevere. Despite Zimbabwe losing the series 3-0, Madhevere scored totals of 23, 73, and 54. Heading into this series in form, Betway is currently offering odds of 4.0 for Madhevere to be the team's top batsman.
The return of Brendan Taylor sees Taylor lead the market, but he hasn’t played international cricket for a while. Therefore it could make sense to back the man in form, and Madhevere at 4.0 looks too good to turn down.
Highest Irish run-scorer: Wesley Madhevere (4.0 from Betway)
Place a bet on Wesley Madhevere to be the highest Zimbabwe run-scorer at Betway.
Fall of 1st Wicket
Looking back at Ireland's series defeat against South Africa, one area where they really struggled was in the first powerplay. Zimbabwe has a similar story to tell following their three-match series against Bangladesh, with the first wickets falling with scores of 10, 15, and 63.
Bet365 is offering odds of 1.8 for the first wicket to fall with the score under 21.5 runs and with two teams looking to find some form that could be a good bet.
Fall of the first wicket: under 21.5 runs (1.8 from Bet365)
Place a bet on the first wicket to fall for under 21.5 runs at Bet365.
Highest Opening Partnership
Betway has a market where you can bet on the highest opening partnership, with Ireland currently at odds of 1.9 and Zimbabwe at 1.8. As we have already alluded to, Ireland has really struggled in recent matches to start well, often losing an opening batter early. Zimbabwe, on the other hand, have enjoyed a little more success, and at the prices backing Zimbabwe to have a higher opening partnership could be a good way to bet.
Highest opening partnership: Zimbabwe (1.8 from Betway)
Place a bet on Zimbabwe to have the highest opening partnership at Betway.
If Paul Stirling can get it right, he can be a dangerous proposition at the top of the Irish order. Stirling, when in form, can hit the ball to every corner of the ground. Stirling is an explosive player and can help Ireland hit the most sixes in the match.
Team with most sixes in the match: Ireland (1.85 from Dafabet)
Place a bet on Ireland to have the most sixes at Dafabet.