Zimbabwe host Ireland in the first of three ODIs that will be played in Harare. Get all the Zimbabwe v Ireland 1st ODI betting tips & predictions in the article that follows.
Zimbabwe won a closely-fought match by two wickets.
Ireland who are ranked tenth in ODI cricket begin a three match limited overs series against the eleventh ranked Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Friday.
Following on from the ODI series in Zimbabwe, the Irish will play a 4-day match against Zimbabwe “A”, before they travel on to Windhoek in Namibia, for the second round Intercontinental Cup fixture against the hosts, which is scheduled to start on October 24.
The tourists were thrilled with the news that their all-rounder, Kevin O’Brien would be able to make the trip, having recovered from a hamstring injury, and apart from the inclusion of wicket-keeper Stuart Poynter for the Zimbabwe section of the tour, the Irish selectors have taken the squad that faced Australia in Belfast in August, to Africa.
O’Brien was absent from the side that took on Australia, due to the injury, his last appearance for his country coming in July during the ICC World T20 Qualifying Tournament.
The two sides have met only five times previously in ODIs. The first fixture being back in 2007 at the World Cup, which ended in a tie. While the most recent meeting of the countries was in the 2015 World Cup in Australasia, when Ireland won a thrilling clash in Hobart by just five runs.
While the Irish will be looking for a series success in order to consolidate their ICC ranking, the Intercontinental Cup is probably of greater importance to the side, who will be looking for a second win, having previously defeated the UAE back in June.
Zimbabwe will have the advantage of having just come out of a home series against Pakistan. Although, the reality is that they were well outplayed in two of the three matches, and won the other match in slightly controversial circumstances, in a fixture affected by the weather.
The home batsmen at least won’t have to try and find a way of coping with spin bowlers of the quality they faced against their Pakistani visitors. A challenge that they were never able to solve.
Zimbabwe v Ireland head to head in ODIs:
The head to head is a narrow 3-2 in favour of Zimbabwe with one other game, their first ever in international cricket way back in 2007 having ended in a tie. Interestingly, Ireland have won the last two matches these two sides have played in a row, including one at the World Cup earlier this year, where Ed Joyce’s 112 had guided Ireland to 331 and Zimbabwe fell five runs short.
Zimbabwe v Ireland 1st ODI betting tips:
Zimbabwe to win: 1/2
Ed Joyce to be Ireland’s top batsman: 4/1
Elton Chigumbura to be Zimbabwe’s top batsman: 11/2
Match starts at 9.30 am local time (0730 hrs GMT) on October 9.