Ireland captain Balbirnie urges side to finish the series on a high
Following Friday’s comprehensive comeback win over the Netherlands in the second ODI, Ireland Men’s captain Andrew Balbirnie wants his side to complete the series on a high in the final encounter of the three-match series.
With the two sides having won one match apiece – and more importantly, claiming 10 points in the World Cup Super League – Monday’s third ODI is more than just about series bragging rights. Pundits suggest that the likely threshold to qualify automatically for the 2023 Cricket World Cup will be around 100 points from the 24 matches to be played by each side. 10 more points tomorrow would put Ireland on 30 points, with 15 matches remaining to play.
But Balbirnie is not looking too far ahead – he knows the next match is the most important for his side. Speaking from the team hotel, he said:
“Last Friday’s match was a far more accomplished performance - we applied ourselves better to the task and knocked off the runs with better composure than in the first game.”
“We gave the squad a day off yesterday, but we are all back in the nets training today looking to do all we can to make sure that we’re ready for the last match of the series. Everyone is fit and available, and keen to get out there and finish on a high.”
Asked about Craig Young’s eye-catching performances with the ball, he said:
“I think having been in and around the squad for so long, Craig has gained some really good experience. Now having stepped up and filled that senior bowler role, I believe he has come into his own. You can just see from his performances that he is confident in his skills and is backing them throughout, which is great to see.”
Asked about the importance of having a settled keeper in the line-up, he said:
“Lorcan has come on leaps and bounds over the last 12 months with the gloves, but he will be first to say he’s not the finished article and there’s always room for improvement. We all know how dangerous he can be with the bat, so it’s great to watch his development first hand as he has grown into the role as our first-choice keeper.”
Conditions are expected to be sunny, with temperatures in the low 20s. The match will be available to watch via livestream in Ireland and UK at: https://youtube.com/user/CricketNederland
The series is being played in Utrecht, and are part of the ICC World Cup Super League:
- 2 June 2021: Netherlands Men v Ireland Men - 1st ODI (see Scorecard)
- 4 June 2021: Netherlands Men v Ireland Men - 2nd ODI (see Scorecard)
- 7 June 2021: Netherlands Men v Ireland Men - 3rd ODI (Utrecht, 10.30am local time)
A new ‘Competition Centre’ has been launched to provide series details and series statistics (see here).
THE IRELAND SQUAD
Whilst the core squad includes 15 players, an additional four players have also travelled to assist with preparations and training given the current COVID-19 restrictions not permitting local support.
The core squad is:
- Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Graeme McCarter, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, William Porterfield, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.
The four additional players are:
- Peter Chase, Stephen Doheny, Graham Kennedy, David O’Halloran.