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Ireland vs Windies, Tri-series, Match 1, Preview: Windies wary of the hosts’ strength as they kick-start World Cup preparations

Ireland are coming into this game after a heartbreaking result against England on Friday.

Windies
Windies. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Despite encountering some difficult results in recent tours, Windies will be confident of putting up a good performance in the World Cup with the selectors including the in-form Andre Russell and Chris Gayle in the squad. The Caribbean side have not reached the semifinals since 1996, a stat which they are desperate to get rid of.

They will kick-start their World Cup preparations with a Tri-series including Ireland and Bangladesh in Dublin. These three sides will be facing each other twice in the group stage while all the games will be played at “The Village” and the “Clontarf Cricket Club Ground”.

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Ireland are coming into this game after a heartbreaking result against England on Friday. They had the only-ODI firmly in their grasps before letting it slip away. It could’ve been their second win against the Three Lions in ODIs after the famous win in the 2011 World Cup. But they can take confidence from that encounter to face the Windies on Sunday.

Playing Combinations

Ireland

No changes are expected in the Irish side that appeared against England. Apart from Paul Stirling and Mark Adair, not many batsmen looked comfortable in the middle, something skipper Porterfield would want his side to work on. Joshua Little produced a sensational spell after the powerplay, which sent the English top order back to the dressing room. Tim Murtagh and Rankin were decent on the day as well, but they just weren’t good enough to tame the World Cup hosts.

Predicted XI

William Porterfield (c), Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Lorcan Tucker, Kevin O’Brien, Gary Wilson (wk), Mark Adair, George Dockrell, Tim Murtagh, Joshua Little, Boyd Rankin.

Windies

With Chris Gayle and Andre Russell still in India, John Campbell will be opening the innings with Shai Hope. The burden of the batting department will be heavy on Hope, Bravo and Roston Chase who will find it difficult to bat if a similar pitch is provided. Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel will trouble the opposition with their fiery pace with Ashley Nurse and Roston Chase handling the spin department.

Predicted XI

John Campbell, Shai Hope (wk), Darren Bravo, Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase, Jason Holder (c), Fabian Allen, Ashley Nurse, Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell.

Focus will be on

Joshua Little (Ireland)

The cricketing world has taken notice of this teenage sensation, who ripped the English top order apart with his left-arm seam bowling. Despite making his international debut in 2016, it took some time for him to settle into the side and now, Joshua Little will command some respect from the Windies batsmen especially after what happened on Friday.

Shai Hope (Windies)

One of the few Windies youngsters who genuinely has the talent to be big in the future, Shai Hope is keen to deliver a top-class performance in the World Cup. For that to happen, he will have to start things off on a positive note in this Tri-series, where he will be batting on tricky surfaces and will find a perfect challenge before the big tournament begins.

Head to head

Matches Played – 8 | Windies won – 5 | Ireland won – 1 | No result – 2

Stat Attack

3 – Kemar Roach needs three more scalps to complete 50 ODI wickets.

41 – Darren Bravo is 41 short of 3,500 runs in ODIs.

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