Our Pick Australia are favourites to win
Australia will begin their tour of South Africa with a solitary one-day international against Ireland on September 27 at the Willowmoore Park, Benoni. The match, scheduled to begin at 10 AM local time, will serve as a warm-up for the Australians ahead of their five-match ODI series against South Africa. Australia have included three uncapped pace bowlers in their squad as majority of their senior frontline bowlers are either injured or have been rested, and they could be given their first game come Tuesday.
Read on for our betting tips and match prediction for Australia vs Ireland only ODI....
There have been a few decent-to-good first-innings scores in the recent ODIs at the Willowmoore Park. The pitch is expected to remain good for batting with 275-290 being a competitive total.
The team that has batted first at this ground has won more times in the past few matches. So there seems to be a definite toss bias here and whoever wins the toss is more likely to bat first.
Australia, with the kind of batting firepower they possess, will be the strong favorites to win this match if they win the toss and decide to bat first.
Predicted Score: 300-350
David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith and George Bailey make up a powerful top-order. Australia will need at least two big scores to come from here if they are to post something around 350. Bailey finished the Sri Lanka ODI series as the highest run-scorer and he has more chances of top-scoring for Australia in this match. Warner had collected 84 runs against Ireland last year and Australia should look set for a huge total if he goes berserk.
The pace trio of Tim Murtagh, Barry McCarthy and Kevin O'Brien are going to be Ireland's best bet with the ball. Skipper Porterfield will want them to strike early and then apply pressure on Steven Smith who will be a little short on match practice. Barry McCarthy was one of Ireland's best bowlers in the recent series against Afghanistan. He also claimed four wickets in the Pakistan ODI and we expect him to be the top bowler for Ireland in this match.
Predicted Score: 200-250
The opening pair of Paul Stirling and skipper William Porterfield along with the O'Brien brothers are the ones who can take Ireland to a respectable first-innings total. Porterfield has a hundred at this ground while Niall O'Brien had scored 45 in his last innings against Australia. Kevin O'Brien, however, is more likely to score the most runs for Ireland. He was the third-highest run-scorer in the Afghanistan series and has an unbeaten 89 in his only innings at this ground.
Australia are left handicapped in the pace department without the services of their main strike bowlers - Starc, Hazlewood, Faulkner and Coulter-Nile. Scott Boland and John Hastings will be heading the seam attack with rookies Chris Tremain, Daniel Worrall and Joe Mennie competing for a place. Adam Zampa, the leggie, will also be relied upon heavily for wickets. Hastings, who took nine wickets in three matches against Sri Lanka including a best of 6/45, should be backed for the Australia top bowler.
Australia and Ireland have faced each other in four one-day internationals in the past with the current head-to-head stats reading 3-0 in favor of the former. One of these matches did not produce a result.
The two teams met for the very first time in the 'Super Eight' stage of the ICC World Cup 2007 in the Caribbean and Australia ended up winning that contest by nine wickets. Their most recent ODI encounter came last year in August when Australia defeated Ireland on their turf by 23 runs (D/L method).
Australia are the five-time World Cup champions and are currently the number 1 team in one-day internationals. They are going strong in this format having beaten Sri Lanka 4-1 in really testing conditions and finishing as the best side in the West Indies tri-nation series prior to that. They have won 13 out of the 19 completed ODIs this year and will be coming off the back of wins in their previous three matches.
But on Tuesday, they won't be having their four frontline seam specialists with them, which Ireland will certainly be looking to take full advantage of when they come out to bat. And if the Irish batters are able to conjure up something special against a relatively weakened Australian bowling attack, they might as well fancy their chances.
Nevertheless, the gap between the two teams still seems to be very large and despite Australia having lost a lot of fizz in its bowling, we predict them to start off their tour on a winning note.
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