After sweeping the ODI series, Ireland will look to continue their dominance over Zimbabwe in the game's shortest format as well. The first of the three T20 internationals will be played on July 10 at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast. The match is scheduled to begin at 12:30 PM local time.
IRE vs ZIM, 1st T20: Where to watch/Live streaming
TV channels: There will be no live telecast of this match.
Live Streaming: Bet365, Cricket Ireland YouTube channel
Ireland's batting in the 20-over format will depend primarily on Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Kevin O’Brien and skipper Gary Wilson. Stirling finished the ODI series as one of the leading run-scorers with 141 runs and he even hit a couple of half-centuries. The opening batsman has played six T20Is this year and has 50+ scores in three of those. The explosive Kevin O'Brien will probably open the innings with Stirling and the hosts will find themselves in a strong position if he gets going.
Shane Getkate and Mark Adair have both been impressive with the ball on this tour. Both the pacers took six wickets apiece in the ODIs and the hosts will be counting on them to deliver the goods once again. Adair notched a four-wicket haul in the opening ODI and he will look to deliver a similar performance here. George Dockrell has 63 T20I scalps to his name and his left-arm spin is going to be crucial in the middle overs.
Ireland Predicted Playing 11
Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, Andrew Balbirnie, Lorcan Tucker, Gareth Delany, Shane Getkate, Gary Wilson (c/wk), Mark Adair, George Dockrell, Joshua Little, Boyd Rankin
Zimbabwe Team News & Playing 11
Zimbabwe will bank on the likes of Craig Ervine, Sean Williams and Brendan Taylor to score the big runs for them in this first T20I. Ervine and Williams were the top two batsmen in the preceding ODI series with 156 and 153 runs respectively. The latter is coming on the back of two consecutive half-centuries and the team will want him to continue his good form. Taylor scored only 15 runs in the ODI series and Ireland will need their experienced batsman to come good in the T20Is.
In terms of bowling, the visitors will look to Tendai Chatara, Kyle Jarvis and Donald Tiripano to take wickets and apply pressure on Ireland. Chatara bagged four wickets in the ODI series and that too at a very good economy of 3.98. Jarvis too had a pretty good series and he will be expected to provide good support from the other end while Tiripano, who could not make much impact earlier, will be keen to make a significant contribution in this match.
Zimbabwe Predicted Playing 11
Solomon Mire, Hamilton Masakadza (c), Brendan Taylor (wk), Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Peter Moor, Ryan Burl, Donald Tiripano, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara
Team Form in Last Five Matches (most recent first)
IRE : L L L W L
ZIM : T L L L L
IRE vs ZIM Head to Head
Ireland and Zimbabwe have faced each other just once in the shortest format of the game. The match was played at the 2014 World T20 at Sylhet, Bangladesh where Ireland chased down Zimbabwe’s 163 on the final ball of the match to seal a thrilling three-wicket victory.
Ireland vs Zimbabwe Betting Odds
Ireland, after dominating Zimbabwe in the ODI series, begin as heavy favorites to win this first T20 international at 1.55 with Betway, 1.57 with Bet365 and 1.54 with Betrally. The visitors are the bookmakers' underdogs for this match and they are being offered at a higher price of 2.40 on Betway, 2.37 on Bet365 and 2.30 on Betrally.
IRE vs ZIM 1st T20 Dream11 Team
Paul Stirling (c)
Craig Ervine (vc)
Ireland vs Zimbabwe Prediction
Ireland whitewashed Zimbabwe in the ODI series and so they will be going into the T20Is high on confidence and with plenty of momentum on their side. Both the teams have been faring rather poorly in this format. Zimbabwe have struggled a lot more though and they have not won even once since their last 12 matches. The one thing, however, that should give them some hope is Ireland's dismal T20I record at this ground - the hosts have lost 8 of their last 9 matches here. But considering the recent form of both the teams and given the way how the ODI series panned out, we expect the home team to bag another win.
Back Ireland to beat Zimbabwe at 1.55 with Betway, 1.57 with Bet365 and 1.54 with Betrally.