Ireland plays Holland in the first of the two ODIs to be played at Castle Avenue in Dublin on Monday. The second game will be played on Wednesday. >
Ireland’s performances in the tournaments leading up to this ODI series have been rather excellent. They won the ICC World Cricket League Division One title against the other top Associates nations, and achieved it by winning all their six games. In the process, they overcame the Afghanistan side, and Holland and Scotland in the league stage, and Scotland were brushed aside in the finals as well.
Continuing with their form in the four day format of the game, they complete an innings win over Netherlands in the ICC Intercontinental tournament by beating them by an innings and 84 runs. All the four Irish bowlers, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Allan Eastwood and Albert van der Merwe, showed good form, and the 20 wickets were evenly shared.
The batting has been one of the best in the Associates world for Ireland and despite the absence of Niall O’Brien, the side has looked compact. Andrew White and John Mooney had both got to their respective centuries in the four-day game, and that should hold them in good stead.
As compared to that, the Dutch side will go as underdogs. After their impressive first round win over England in the ICC World T20 of 2009, things have not looked too bright for them, and they will look to put the innings defeat to Ireland behind them. Spinner Mohammad Kashif’s bowling form will augur well for the side, but it is the batting that the Dutch side needs to look at more closely.
Ireland should be favourites for the match, and will need Netherlands to play out of their skins to win the match.