Saturday, March 14, 2015

Quarter Final Berth Up For Grabs in the Ireland-Pakistan Clash

Ireland vs Pakistan at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide: March 15, 2015 - Match Preview

17th March 2007. 8 years ago, almost to the date, Ireland scripted a fairy tale victory against the Pakistani side. That loss meant that Pakistan bowed out of the World Cup 2007 at the group stages while Ireland progressed through to the next round.

Pool B is in a complicated mess as Ireland, Pakistan and West Indies battle for the last two spots after India and South Africa. If Pakistan win, they will take the 3rd spot. West Indies then, provided they beat UAE will be the 4th placed team since their run rate is better then Ireland. If Ireland win against Pakistan then they go through in the 3rd place. West Indies might sneak in to the 4th place again if they beat UAE since they might improve their run rate significantly in that game.

The Pakistan team is finally looking up after a splendid show against the South African team. Their pace bowlers have rescued them now, twice in a row, first against Zimbabwe and then against the Proteas. Their batting has also gelled together with Misbah Ul Haq proving to be the crux of it. He continues to churn out the runs but still draws flak from all quarters. Sarfaraz has brought much needed dynamism to the top of the order with his liveliness. Pakistan might have to decide if they pick the leggie Yasir Shah ahead of Rahat Ali.

Pakistani bowlers have been slowly finding their rhythm in the World Cup 2015

Ireland were given a reality check by the Indian team in their last outing but they remain a dangerous opponent. They have got batsmen in wonderful form and the Pakistan bowling will have to be in top gear to defeat them. Ed Joyce, Paul Stirling and the O' Brien brothers have all been amongst the runs at various times during the World Cup. Bowling though has been their weaker suit and that might just prove costly against a Pakistan side that generally struggles against good bowling attacks. They will want to do things they did when they beat the West Indies in their opening game, a win that has still left their Quarter Final chances alive!

Key Battles: Ireland vs Pakistan

Mohammad Irfan vs Paul Stirling

Wahab Riaz vs O' Brien Brothers

George Dockrell vs Misbah Ul Haq

This will be a cracker of a match given the history between these two sides and also since there is so much riding on it this time around. Expect both the teams to come out hard at each other, all guns blazing and not give an inch to each other. The winner will book a place in the Quarter Final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the loser will have it's destiny hanging by thread.

PS - The image used is courtesy

No comments: