The only full member team in the on-going tri-series, Ireland dominated both UAE and Scotland in first three matches and won all three matches in style. Now they are ready to face Scotland for one last time in the series and looking forward to finish off with another win. Scotland started off with a 6 wickets defeat, will eyes on surprising their neighbour with a good comeback win in this game. Match 4 between Ireland vs Scotland scheduled to start at 9:30 AM Local | 11 AM IST on Thursday, 18th January 2018.
William Porterfield led Ireland side won all three matches comfortably with an all around performances. They have defeated in both matches and won those games by a margin of 4 wickets and followed by 67 runs. In the first meet up against Scotland, the dominating Ireland continued their good run and won by 6 wickets. Captain William Porterfield led the team from a front and provides a solid start in almost every match. He started the tour with 28 runs against UAE in the first game and then he notched up with a big hundred in the second game. He scored a match winning 139 runs in the second game. Porterfield has a role to play in this game against Scotland on Thursday. All rounder Paul Stirling yet to bring his best in this series. He departed without a run in the first game, after that he scored 20 and 38 runs respectively in last two matches. The big innings not far away for him, hopefully will play a big knock in this game. Andrew Balbirnie also started off with a duck in the first game, but he came back so well and scored a mighty knocks of 102 runs and 67 runs respectively in last two matches. Ed Joyce who scored 116 runs in the first game took the team home safely. He was rested for the second game against UAE but returned back to the XI and played another good innings of 31 not out against Scotland on Tuesday. Slight chances for Joyce to be rested again, that case Stuart Poynter will earn his opportunity.
Wicket keeper Niall O’Brien had been dismissed for 4 runs each in both matches against UAE, but the left-hander played a very good knock of 55 runs against Scotland on Tuesday. He has to continue a momentum which he got in the last game to steady the middle-order. Niall’s brother Kevin O’Brien had bowled a full quota of 10 overs in all three matches and he had picked a tally of 7 wickets, includes a four wicket haul in the second match. Kevin yet to score big runs in the series, hopefully his all-round show will come out well in this game. The middle-order batsman Gary Wilson had played a very crucial knock in the first game and scored a match-winning half-century in that match. Since that, he didn’t get much of batting opportunity in last two matches. He is expected to shine with a bat once he gets his chances in this game. The spin duo of Andy McBrine and George Dockrell has done their job well in the series. Both of them are expected to be in the XI and will take care of spin department in this game too. Both Dockrell and McBrine are capable with a bat at lower order as well. Boyd Rankin, Barry McCarthy and Peter Chase are front-line pacers of Ireland on the tour. All three of them had played a first match together. McCarthy was a part of the XI in all 3 matches while Peter Chase had played first two matches and rested for the last game. On other side, Boyd Rankin played first match and rested for the next match, then he replaced Chase in the last game. So, there will be bit of confusion on pacers options, some possibilities are there for all three of them to play too.
Scotland has made a major change in their squad few days before their first game on the tour. The regular skipper Kyle Coetzer has taken a break for both matches against Ireland and he will join the team for third game. Therefore, on his absence, vice-captain Richie Berrington has named as an interim captain for the matches against Ireland. Michael Jones replaced Coetzer in the playing XI and made his international debut. Scotland top and middle-order batsmen struggled a lot to score runs quickly other day. But the debutant Michael Jones played an impressive knock and scored 87 runs. He batted at strike rate of around 65, but his contribution was much needed for the team in that innings. George Munsey who opened the innings with Jones, dismissed for 11-ball duck. Munsey’s poor run in International cricket continues and he will holds his place in the XI due to lack of back-up batsman in the squad. The experienced Matthew Cross started his innings well, but unfortunately dismissed for 18 runs in the last game. His experiences will come into play on Thursday. The acting captain Richie Berrington will continue to bat at his regular position no. 4. He had a poor outing in the first game where he dismissed for only 5 runs off 19 balls. He is the most experienced batsman in the squad and the team wants him to score big runs on Thursday. The other experienced batsman Calum MacLeod moved down to no. 5 in the batting order and he played a handy innings of 33 runs other day. He has 5 ODI centuries in 47 matches and his highest score was 175 runs, that proves what he capable of in Scotland batting order.
Craig Wallace took over wicket-keeper role from Cross and he will bat at lower middle-order. Wallace contributed well with a crucial 34 runs in the last game and he has a role to play once again in this game as well. The wicket-taking bowler Safyaan Sharif has claimed two wickets in the first game but he didn’t perform upto his standard. First he dismissed for duck at crucial stage of batting innings, then he conceded 44 runs for 2 wickets in his 6 overs spell. He is expected to be back with a bang in this game and no wonder if he takes 3 or more wickets. The newcomer, off-spinner Tom Sole made his ODI debut in the last game and he performed well on debut. First he scored a quick 20 runs in just 14 balls and later on the day he claimed 2 wickets for 44 runs. Sole will retains his place and may perform well once again. One of the leading bowler in the country, Alasdair Evans bowled an wicket-less cum expensive spell on other day. He is major impact bowler of Scotland, hopefully will come with an impressive spell in this game. Stuart Whittingham has played a third-seamer role in the last game. Some sort of chances for him to make a way for an all-rounder Michael Leask. The inclusion of Leask will add strength to batting line-up and also helps the bowling unit. The left-arm spinner Mark Watt will keep his place safe in the XI.
KEY PLAYERS :
- William Porterfield
- Paul Stirling
- Kevin O’Brien
- Andy Balbirnie
- Paul Stirling
- Barry McCarthy
Wild Card Pick – Ed Joyce
- Richie Berrington
- Michael Jones
- Calum MacLeod
- Craig Wallace
- Alasdair Evans
- Safyaan Sharif
Wild Card Pick – Michael Leask
POSSIBLE LINEUPS :
1. William Porterfield, 2. Paul Stirling, 3. Andy Balbirnie, 4. Ed Joyce / Stuart Poynter, 5. Niall O’Brien, 6. Kevin O’Brien, 7. Gary Wilson, 8. Andy McBrine / Peter Chase, 9. George Dockrell, 10. Barry McCarthy, 11. Boyd Rankin.
1. George Munsey, 2. Michael Jones, 3. Matthew Cross, 4. Richie Berrington, 5. Calum MacLeod, 6. Craig Wallace, 7. Michael Leask / Stu Whittingham, 8. Tom Sole, 9. Safyaan Sharif, 10. Alasdair Evans, 11. Mark Watt.
Cricket is what everyone loves. If you’re ready to play fantasy cricket but don’t know how to analyze players, consider his Articles as the foundation of your fantasy teams. Anand is a cricket blogger and fantasy cricket lover.