HomeCricketCan the bottom-placed Ireland prevail against star-studded New Zealand...

Can the bottom-placed Ireland prevail against star-studded New Zealand side?

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The scorecard read 177, the number of runs compiled by New Zealand women. It also reflected a dainty 84 amassed by Ireland Women. The verdict was out there. New Zealand women had completely humbled their opponents, muscling their minuscule resistance in front of a 93-run win. Chandigarh, then, in the ICC Women’s World T20, seemed a city feathered by the White Ferns.
But that was 2016.

Irish cricket is improving

In these last two years, Ireland hasn’t played a great deal of cricket. Not much of T20s either. In fact, all they’ve played are 2 T20 series. But they’ve shown some great resistance in first holding up South Africa for a drawn series in 2016, wherein both sides won a game apiece. Later, Ireland Women would thump Bangladesh in a T20 series win.
Arguably, their improvements, powered by familiar batting names- Isobel Joyce and Claire Shillington- have come in handy, but having not played a single T20 against the White Ferns may make them slightly vulnerable, despite hosting the Suzie Bates’ girls on home turf.
There might just be a one-off T20 in addition to 3 ODIs, but Irish skipper Laura Delaney, among the noted talents in women’s games will tread carefully and would wish to attack in tandem with her teammates, among whom
While her own recent run of form, bolstered by a classic 81 against Zimbabwe earlier in February, will inspire her to come good against world’s number 3 ranked side, she’ll desire a complete team effort to reflect in the massively exciting series against New Zealand.
That said, take nothing away from the exceptional bowling talents- Kim Garth and Lucy O’ Reilly. There’s a spring of confidence in their steps as the two right-arm fast medium specialists attempt to control the flow of runs. Captain Delaney would expect nothing but cricket from the very top draw from two interesting bowling talents of her side.

How strong does New Zealand look?

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While the series may unfold key lessons for Ireland, regardless of the result, for New Zealand, it might be a regular day at the office.
Admired for playing a hard-fought, affably competitive and, purely passionate brand of cricket, the New Zealand side is a team that believes in playing cricket in the ‘now’, hardwired in the DNA of T20s and ODIs.
The last that New Zealand’s lordly-talented names took to the cricket field, an entire Wankhede stood in applause for captain Suzie Bates’ all-round performance, that nearly won her Trailblazers the first of its kind IPL game.
In Bates, Tahuhu, Sophie Devine and, Amy Satterthwaite, there’s nearly 3600 T20 runs and some mind-boggling experience. The famous quartet of New Zealand Women’s cricket has plugged the fight out of their competitors, the worst sufferers of their exuberance in recent times being Stafanie Taylor’s West Indies.
The last that New Zealand women played a T20 and ODI series, they ensured an outbreak of savagery against the hapless, listless West Indies women. Tahuhu was amongst the wickets as was arguably among the best spinners of the game- Leigh Kasperek- among the toughest bowlers to score off.
With an economy rate of 5 in T20 cricket including 37 scalps from 20 games, the world’s glowing in Kasperek’s success, a juggernaut of which could roll over Ireland, unless their batswomen take control of things.

Key players who can give Ireland nightmares

Not only did New Zealand white-wash the touring Windies women in ODIs, they nearly cleaned them up in the T20s when suddenly rains saved the waning, washed-up West Indies from another successive embarrassment. All throughout the series, Sophie Devine was at her all-round best as Suzie Bates’ bat oozed fire.
Purely on current form, New Zealand look to be the hot-favourites against Ireland but cricket is often won on a day instead of a single stroke of genius.
Expected Ireland squad for T20s
Laura Delany (C), Rachel Delaney, Kim Garth, Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce, Shauna Kavanagh, Amy Kenealy, Gaby Lewis, Lara Maritz, Cara Murray, Clare Shillington, Mary Waldron
Expected New Zealand squad for T20s
Sophie Bates, Lea Tahuhu, Sophie Devine, Leigh Kasperek, Amy Satterthwaite, Sara McGlashan, Katey Martin, Rachel Priest, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Erin Birmingham

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