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Ireland

Ireland seek consolation win after Thursday thriller

WI v Ire, 3rd ODI, preview

After the thrilling second ODI took West Indies to an unassailable 2-0 lead, Ireland will hope to end the series on a high in the final match at St George's on Sunday, 12 January.

Overview

West Indies v Ireland
3rd ODI
National Cricket Stadium, St George's, Grenada
Sunday, 12 January; 9am local, 1pm GMT

After a one-sided first ODI, Ireland fought back hard in the second, proving that it will not be easy for the hosts to effect a sweep come Sunday. The good news for the hosts is that a solid side is in place. Their bowlers have been performing well to restrict the Irish to 180 and to 237/9 in the two games. Both Sheldon Cottrell and Alzarri Joseph have been excellent, particularly Joseph, who already has eight wickets in two games at an economy of 3.20.

In comparison, though, their batting has been inconsistent. The openers have been decent, and the experience of Kieron Pollard has been important, but Shimron Hetmyer, one of their star batsmen, has failed to make an impact. 

On Thursday, Ireland proved that with a little application, they have the potential to take on a big side. Their batsmen, despite getting good starts, have not been able to convert those scores into something bigger. Apart from Paul Stirling, nobody has breached the 35-run mark.

The bowling, meanwhile, has been impressive. Simi Singh has been the standout performer and the death bowling in the second match shows what can be achieved with a calm and calculated approach. With that in mind, they might stick to the same XI for the final game too.

Remember the last time

West Indies would have expected to chase Ireland's 237/9 with ease in the second ODI, but a middle-order wobble and a riveting last over saw the hosts steal a close-fought one-wicket win. Needing five runs in the final over and with only a wicket in hand, the hosts could score only one run off the first two balls, but two missed run-out chances by Ireland reduced the equation to two off two. Sheldon Cottrell, who was on strike, smashed a six over sweeper cover to complete an unexpected come-from-behind victory.

What they said

Hayden Walsh Jr scored an unbeaten 46 in the second ODI
Hayden Walsh Jr scored an unbeaten 46 in the second ODI

Andrew Balbirnie, captain, Ireland: "It's important that we recover well [from the loss] – we have a short flight to Grenada, but if we can recover well, have a good training session tomorrow and get what we need done then I have no doubt we can turn around this result on Sunday."

Hayden Walsh jnr., bowler, West Indies: "We were expecting them to come back hard. The performance that they did in the first game, I wouldn't say it would reflect what they'd like. So I was expecting them to come back harder and give a better shot of winning the game."

Conditions

Unlike the other two games, the third ODI is a day fixture. The weather is expected to be partly sunny and windy with a brief shower or two mid-afternoon. The last ODI here was in February last year and was a high-scoring one with West Indies falling short of a target of 419 by 29 runs against England.

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