ABOUT THE MATCH
In a potentially key battle at the top of Group B of the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier, Canada and Ireland meet in Abu Dhabi, at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, for their latest fixture on October 23.
Canada sat top of the group after two wins from two matches, having comfortably beaten Jersey and Nigeria – as expected – so far. Nitish Kumar has hit 140 runs across the two games, while Dillon Heyliger has contributed six wickets.
This will be their first big test, however, against an Ireland team who have also won twice so far. They have played an extra game and suffered a surprise defeat to the UAE, but they bounced back by beating in-form Oman last time out – Gareth Delany playing a key role in their win. The Irish start as favorites, as a result, knowing a win will put them in a good position in this group.
Canada won the toss and successfully elected to bat first last time out, and batting first is likely to be the order of the day again.
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
Some early-morning fog will have long cleared by the time this gets underway in what should be hot, sunny, dry and clear conditions in the afternoon in Abu Dhabi.
The Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium has produced some good even battles between bat and ball so far, and it is difficult to say either batsmen or bowlers have come out clearly on top. The run rates remain high, but wickets have fallen regularly too.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF Ireland
Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, Gareth Delany, Harry Tector, Gary Wilson (c, wk), Mark Adair, Lorcan Tucker, Stuart Thompson, George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin, David Delany
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF Canada
Rodrigo Thomas, Navneet Dhaliwal (c), Nitish Kumar, Nicholas Kirton, Ravinderpal Singh, Hamza Tariq (wk), Dillon Heyliger, Abraash Khan, Saad bin Zafar, Nikhil Dutta, Jeremy Gordon
- Lorcan Tucker and Stuart Thompson came into the team last time out, as Ireland bounced back from their defeat to the UAE Shane Getkate and Andy Balbirnie the men to make way.
- Gareth Delany was pushed up the batting order to cover Balbirnie’s absence and promptly smashed a match-winning 89* from 49 balls, so Ireland could stick with the same line-up and batting order.
- Ireland started with a comfortable win against Hong Kong, with Andy Balbirnie (70*) and Paul Stirling (62) making light work of a chase of 154 to win the Irish claiming an eight-wicket win in just 17.2 overs.
- Next up, however, 72 from Stirling could not prevent Ireland from folding for just 125 against the UAE.
- The hosts needed just 17 overs to seal a five-wicket win. That left Ireland needing to bounce back against Oman, but Gareth Delany’s 89* and two wickets ensured they did just that Oman posting 148/9 in reply to Ireland’s 183/3.
- Canada has stuck with the same XI for both matches so far and they could well stick with the same team again after two comfortable victories in their opening two games.
- Canada has won both matches so far, with Nitish Kumar and Dillon Heyliger starring in both victories.
- Against Jersey, Kumar smashed 83 from 36 balls as Canada posted 176/5, and Heyliger and Jeremy Gordon took three wickets apiece to bowl Jersey out for 123.
- In their second game, Kumar’s 57* from 36 balls helped them to 159/7, and Heyliger took another three wickets as Nigeria posted just 109/8 in reply.
PROBABLE WINNING TEAM:
Canada has won two from two so far but Ireland represents their biggest test yet, and it is the Irish who need to be winning this one to stay on track in Group B.
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