Three matches are all that’s left in Group 1 and the first of those will be played on Friday morning at the Adelaide Oval, where New Zealand take on Ireland.
It is a clash that holds huge significance, for both New Zealand and the other sides in the group.
With a victory, the BlackCaps will not only progress to the semis, but top Group 1. However, a defeat will knock the Kiwis out of the 2022 T20 World Cup.
An Irish victory at the Adelaide Oval on Friday will make all of Australia, England and Sri Lanka’s path to the semis straightforward.
Should Ireland beat the Kiwis, then all that the aforementioned three teams will need to do is win their final encounter to make it to the final four. Australia will really fancy their chances in that case, given they’re up against a thus-far-winless Afghanistan side, and so will both England and Sri Lanka, who take on each other on Saturday.
A massive, massive contest awaits us!
Only two games have been played thus far at the Adelaide Oval, and to be fair, both of them have shown signs of being a high-scoring encounter. While Zimbabwe picked the fielders in their clash against Netherlands, India and Bangladesh produced a high-scoring thriller, which could be the theme of the venue.
On an average, the teams batting first have scored 151 but after the clash between India and Bangladesh, teams would want at least 175-180 to have a safe cushion.
That being said, high scores have proven extremely difficult to be chased down in Adelaide. Since the start of 2020, in all T20s in Adelaide, a grand total of zero 180+ totals have been chased down.
So expect the skipper winning the toss to opt to bat first.
As far as bowling is concerned, 23 out of the 25 wickets at the venue in this T20WC have been in the pacer’s pockets, a huge 92%. Thus far, from the two games before this game day, 5.8 wickets have fallen/innings to pacers, meaning there is only one way to go with your team.
While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
For small leagues: Glenn Phillips ( c ), Lorcan Tucker (vc)
For grand leagues: Mitch Santner ( c ), Josh Little (vc)
Stats that matter
Glenn Phillips top-scored in the three-match T20I series between New Zealand and Ireland earlier this year, amassing 148 runs in 3 matches, a mammoth 59 runs more than any other batter. He will enter Friday’s clash on the back of scores of 104 and 62.
In the previous clash against England, Devon Conway registered back-to-back single-digit scores for the first time in his T20I career.
With 191 runs at an average of 47.75, Lorcan Tucker is Ireland’s highest run-getter of this World Cup. His last 4 scores read 71*, 34, 10 and 45*.
2022 has been Paul Stirling’s worst year in T20Is in six years. He’s averaged 21.52 and has managed just two fifty-plus scores in 26 attempts.
Mitch Santner has taken 14 wickets in his last 7 T20Is, going wicketless just once. In this period, he’s taken 2 or more wickets a staggering 5 times.
Grand League punts
In the form he is in, and also given all luck has been falling his way, it is a no-brainer to back Glenn Phillips. He’s yet to bowl in this competition but there’s a good chance he might on Friday, given how much Ireland struggle against spin, finger-spin in particular.
Josh Little will enter Friday’s clash on the back of consecutive two-fers and he is one bowler who is worth taking a gamble on.
Despite Conway’s consecutive players, trust him to deliver the goods against the Irish attack.
Here are the Top 10 Criclytics Projections
Ireland: Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Lorcan Tucker (wk), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Fionn Hand, Joshua Little
New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult