West Indies vs Ireland, 1st T20I, St George’s: Preview, likely XIs, predictions

West Indies vs Ireland, 1st T20I, St George’s: Preview, likely XIs, predictions

Chris Gayle West Indies

Ireland have their task cut out in the T20Is against West Indies. They lost the ODIs 3-0, and considering the fact that the ODIs were the format they had the best chance of beating the West Indies in, it must hurt.

The West Indies will be primed to whitewash Ireland here. They were supreme in the ODIs, showing the gumption to win in difficult moments, like in the second match when they somehow snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Ireland, meanwhile, have looked out of sorts. Rain didn’t help matters in the third ODI, where they were hurting and hoping to bounce back. Even accounting for that, their loss makes it difficult to see how they can get anything out of the T20Is.

West Indies are, for all their faults, a superb T20 outfit. They are filled with big-hitters, some of whom are capable of playing the grinding knock and digging the team out of a hole. Furthermore, in this clash, Dwayne Bravo is likely to return to the West Indies XI for the first time since 2016, and given he is still a capable all-rounder, Ireland will be wary.

Ireland have a decent side themselves, but it’s hard to see them coming away from this series with much to show for it. They will, however, hope – the shorter the format, the higher the chance for a win, and Ireland will be pinning their hopes on that.

Head to head

Ireland and West Indies have played four T20Is so far. Ireland have won just one of those, with West Indies winning two. Their last T20I clash came in 2014, though. West Indies have only become more powerful since then.

Key players

Evin Lewis (West Indies): Lewis has been in fine form recently. His century in the third ODI powered West Indies to victory, as did his 99* in the first ODI. After those two big knocks, Ireland will be wary of him.

Andy Balbirnie (Ireland): Balbirnie first series as Ireland captain didn’t go to plan, with the Irish being swept by West Indies. However, he did look their best bet as a player, top-scoring for the team with 97 in the three matches. He’ll need to lead from the front.

Likely XIs

West Indies: Lendl Simmons,Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Brandon King, Kieron Pollard (c), Dwayne Bravo, Hayden Walsh, Khary Pierre, Kesrick Williams, Sheldon Cottrell

Ireland: Paul Stirling, Garerth Delaney, Andy Balbirnie (c), William Porterfield, Kevin O’Brien, Lorcan Tucker, Simi Singh, Mark Adair, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Boyd Rankin


West Indies to win.