After losing the first one-day international against West Indies, Ireland came back strongly with a 5-wicket win in the second ODI on Thursday. The third and final match of the three-match series is set to be played at Sabina Park Stadium on Sunday. Here’s a look at how the two teams shape up ahead of the must-win encounter for both sides.
WI vs IRE: Match Preview, West Indies vs Ireland 2022, 3rd ODI
West Indies have managed to put on decent totals in both the one-day internationals, however, the top-order is yet to fire in the series. The likes of Shai Hope, Justin Greaves, and Nicholas Pooran have oodles of talent but the trio hasn’t lived up to the billing just yet. Having said that, the team management are unlikely to make a change in the top-three.
The onus will be on the shoulders of in-form Shamarh Brooks and Kieron Pollard. The former has been in scintillating form, while Pollard would be hoping to end the series with a match-winning knock on Sunday. All-rounders, namely Odean Smith and Romario Shepherd did a great job with the bat. Both played outstanding knocks with the bat in the last game and would give the team a lot more confidence going into the final ODI.
However, the problem lies in the bowling department. The bowling unit hasn’t been able to apply pressure for a longer period of time and not picked wickets consistently either. Jason Holder, in particular, has disappointed a lot and will need to step up to the plate and make better returns with both bat and ball.
Ireland should be proud of the way they played in the last game despite missing some key players in the team due to Covid-19. Craig Young was outstanding at the start of the first innings. He bowled at great lengths and also got the movement in the air. The Ireland seamer kept asking tough questions and, in return, got the wickets of the top-three batsmen.
Andy McBrine was brilliant during the middle overs as he kept piling the pressure on the opposition. He took as many as 4 wickets for just 36 runs in his ten overs. His outstanding spell helped them to restrict West Indies to 229 runs in the first innings. Ireland would be hoping that he delivers another such performance on Sunday.
Paul Sterling recovered well and played the last game. He scored four sumptuous boundaries for his 15-ball 21 but, unfortunately, couldn’t play for too long. William Porterfield (26 off 29) also played a decent cameo, while Andy McBrine (35 off 45) chipped in with a vital contribution with the bat as well. However, it was Harry Tector’s 52-run unbeaten knock that helped the team win the second ODI by 5 wickets,
All the batsmen in top-four made vital contributions and it’s something that should keep the team in good stead. With Andy Balbirnie being ruled out of the third ODI, Paul Sterling should continue to lead the side in the final game as well.