Ireland, who have beaten the big teams several times in major tournaments, will face the Netherlands in the opening leg of the T20 World Cup on Monday. This match of Group A will be very important as both the teams are contending for a place in the Super 12 stage.
In the shortest international format of the game, however, the figures are in favor of the Netherlands, who have won seven of the 12 T20Is against Ireland. The Netherlands team had a tough time on Ireland in the recent ODI series as well. Ireland have won World Cups against Pakistan (2007), England (2011), West Indies (2015) and Zimbabwe (2015), and Bangladesh (2009 T20 World Cup).
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Having established themselves as the better teams in international cricket, both these teams are the contenders to reach the next stage of the tournament. Ireland surprised many by reaching the second round of the T20 World Cup in 2009. This was his first global tournament at the top level.
This team had a chance after progressing from the initial stage in 2014 but had to bear the brunt of a poor net-run rate. The team, however, failed to progress beyond the first round in its four tournaments. The team will try to register its first win in the T20 World Cup tournament since 2014.
Ireland, a brilliant mix of young and experienced players, qualified for this year’s tournament by finishing top of their class in the qualifiers at a better net run rate even after losing matches to Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Ireland played its last T20 International in March 2020. However, in this three-match series, they had to face defeat by 1-2.
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The team recently won the triangular series final against Scotland on home soil but lost to hosts Oman in the final of the five-nation series. The veteran Kevin O’Brien will be their key player, who was also in the team in 2009. He played a match-winning innings with his brother Niyal against Bangladesh. Kevin scored an unbeaten 39 off 17 balls in that match.
He then registered the fastest century in the 2011 ODI World Cup against England in Bengaluru. He scored his maiden century for Ireland in the shortest format by scoring 124 off just 62 balls against Oman earlier this month. The Netherlands has qualified for this tournament by reaching the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup Qualifier tournament. He then went on to win the qualifier competition as well.
The Netherlands have also bounced back against the bigger teams on a few occasions. He won the T20 World Cup against England at Lord’s in 2009. They had badly defeated England and then Ireland in the 2014 T20 World Cup. The team qualified for the second leg by achieving the target of 190 runs in just 14 overs to win against Ireland.
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With match winners Riyan ten Deutsche, Ben Cooper, Roelof van der Merwe and Peter Seelar, Netherlands will look to make it to the second leg of this month’s T20 World Cup. The presence of the calm captain Seelar has been instrumental in getting the team out of difficult situations. With over 15 years of experience in international cricket, Seelar has experienced various ups and downs of cricket in his country.
Netherlands: Peter Seelar (c), Colin Ackerman, Philip Boisven, Ben Cooper, Bass de Leede, Scott Edwards, Brandon Glover, Fred Klaasen, Stefan Myberg, Max O’Dowd, Ryan ten Deutsche, Logan van Beek, Tim van der Guggen, Roelof Van der Merwe and Paul van Meeckeren.
Ireland: Gary Wilson (capt), Mark Adair, Andy Balbirnie, David Delany, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Shane Gatek, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker and Craig Young.
The match will start at 15:30 IST IST.