The final match of the group stages will be played tomorrow and it is of so much importance for both the teams as the team which wins will qualify for the Quarter finals taking into assumption that West Indies will beat UAE. Ireland have been fabulous in the tournament so far with wins over West Indies, UAE and Zimbabwe. On the other hand, Pakistan have come from nowhere after losing 2 matches to win their next 3. This is going to be a thriller in Adelaide. The match begins at 9 am I.S.T. The favorites to win this match is Ireland as they have impressed every one and all like they have done in the previous World Cup’s too and an Irish victory over Pakistan will be an historic event in the history of Ireland Cricket. Let’s see how the teams fair against each other
Ireland have been impressive as they have been in the previous World Cups. They beat Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup and from there; there has been a consistent growth of Ireland Cricket. They beat England in 2011 WC and in their first game of 2015 WC, they comprehensively beat West Indies. This team has nothing to lose. They have already won everyone’s hearts and a loss wouldn’t do much harm to Irish cricketing fans. They just got to go and perform and give their best. The batting has looked solid for the team. Each and every one has contributed at some other time. Porterfield has one half century which came against India, Paul Stirling played exceptionally against West Indies, Ed Joyce has one half century and a century, Niall O’Brien has 2 half centuries, Gary Wilson has one. Balbirnie has two and the big man Kevin O’Brien has a half century too. What they lack in this unit is the bowling. They haven’t been good with the ball at all. No one in the bowling line up bowls above 135 and they almost lost a match because of poor bowling against Zimbabwe where it was proved to be difficult for them to defend 331. George Dockrell, the man who refused to play for England 3 years ago after been made an offer hasn’t proved his decision to be a good one. He needs to step up against Pakistan if Ireland has any chance of qualifying.
After two defeats to India and West Indies early on in this tournament, Pakistan have bounced back with three wins including the one against South Africa which everyone was doubtful off. Pakistan has the knack of coming out of nowhere in big tournaments and going on to win it. For eg: 1992 WC where they lost 4 matches and came back to win 5, Qualified and won the World Cup. Their job has just got simpler after the beat South Africa. Now, they just got to beat an associate team to proceed to the quarter finals. The batting has looked average but Misbah ul Haq has been fantastic as a captain and as a batsman. The bowling line up which is much talked about in Pakistan hasn’t delivered as expected except for the match against South Africa.
Hot and Humid with temperatures at 27 degree Celsius and lowest to 17 degrees. Chances of rain are minimal.
Slow pitch and the ball won’t come on to the bat. However, once the batsman settles in, it will be easy getting runs. Win the toss, bat first
Previous World Cup Encounters:
2007 WC- Ireland beat Pakistan by 3 wickets
Key players to watch out for
Ireland: Niall O’Brien
He was a part of the 2007 upset when Ireland beat Pakistan and he also was awarded the MOM in that match. Niall O’Brien is an asset to the Irish batting line up and when the chips are down, Niall O’Brien is the man Ireland can rely on. He is an excellent finisher too.
Pakistan: Mohammed Irfan
The 7 footer might prove out to be a problem for Ireland with those bouncers and it will turn out to be a match winner if his short balls work. However, he has to careful as the opener Paul Stirling loves to play short balls and deposits them into the crowd.
Probable Playing XI
William Porterfield (c), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Gary Wilson (wk) , Andy Balbirnie, Niall O’Brien, Kevin O’Brien, John Mooney, George Dockrell, Alex Cusack, Craig Young
Ahmed Shehzad, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Haris Sohail, Misbah Ul Haq, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Mohammed Irfan, Yasir Shah, Sohail Khan
Prediction: Pakistan win