New Zealand vs Ireland 2nd T20I: Preview and Prediction

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Lockie Ferguson pitches a ball while Paul Stirling watches on in the first T20I

Humbling Ireland 3-0 in the ODI series and winning the first T20I convincingly, New Zealand enters the second T20I as hot favorites to clinch the series in the shortest format of the game. Ireland, on the other hand, would be eager to restore parity when the two sides lock horns in Belfast at 08:30 PM IST.

Ireland started the first T20I on a strong note by scalping three wickets inside the first five overs. However, Glenn Phillips anchored the innings from one end by staying unbeaten at 69 off 52 deliveries, while James Neesham and Michael Bracewell picked up timely boundaries to turn the tide in New Zealand’s favor and post a total of 173 runs at the end of 20 overs.

Ireland could not get their act going and lost wickets at regular intervals. Lockie Ferguson was the destructor-in-chief by picking four wickets as Ireland succumbed to 142 all out.

Team News

Glenn Phillips' half-century changed the momentum in New Zealand's favor in the first T20I

Glenn Phillips’ half-century changed the momentum in New Zealand’s favor in the first T20I

Ireland is unlikely to make any change to the side and improve on its tried and tested formula. The case should be no different for New Zealand, who will be eyeing to seal the series.

Ireland would be looking to improve their batting unit while not losing track of their momentum with the ball. New Zealand, who are playing the series without their regular players, look confident with their second-string unit.

Head to Head record

New Zealand and Ireland have locked horns against each other twice in the past. On both occasions, it was the former who came out on the top with healthy margins. 

Their first-ever encounter took place at the 2009 ICC T20 World Cup where the Kiwis won the tie by 83 runs. Thirteen years later when the sides clashed against each other, New Zealand triumphed over Ireland by 48 runs.

Key Players

Joshua Little put Ireland in the ascendancy at the start of the first T20I

Joshua Little put Ireland in the ascendancy at the start of the first T20I

Lockie Ferguson: Ferguson took the wickets of Paul Stirling, Gareth Delany, Curtis Campher, and Craig Young from 20 deliveries by conceding only 14 runs. Ireland is struggling to deal with Ferguson’s pace and New Zealand would be banking to make the most of it.

Joshua Little: Little picked four wickets in the first T20I, which included the likes of Finn Allen and Michael Bracewell. A tad expensive in the first T20I, Ireland will be hoping he can receive support from the other end to inflict further damage.

Predicted Playing XI

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Finn Allen, Dane Cleaver, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Jacob Duffy

Ireland: Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Gareth Delany, Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, Lorcan Tucker, George Dockrell, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Joshua Little, Craig Young

Prediction

Ireland lacks the requisite experience to put up a fight against New Zealand in T20Is. While their bowling department is spitting fire, the batting unit finds themselves on the backfoot. We predict New Zealand to win the second T20I.

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