We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
While the spinners have taken 8 wickets, the pacers have packed 7 to their name at the Bready Cricket Club in Northern Ireland. It’s not that the pitch is unplayable, but the Australians have been superior with the ball.
Probable XI for Ireland: Rebecca Stokell, Gaby Lewis, Orla Prendergast/Sophie MacMahon, Laura Delany (c), Rachel Delaney, Mary Waldron (wk), Arlene Kelly, Leah Paul, Ava Canning/Georgia Dempsey, Jane Maguire, Cara Murray
Probable XI for Pakistan: Bismah Maroof (c), Muneeba Ali (wk), Iram Javed, Ayesha Naseem, Nida Dar, Aliya Riaz, Kainat Imtiaz, Fatima Sana, Tuba Hassan, Diana Baig, Anam Amin
Bismah Maroof, the highest run-scorer for Pakistan in the format, has been in impressive form in white-ball cricket. The failure against Australia in the opening game was a rare event: it was a result of a terrific arm ball. Against Ireland, she averages 26, with the highest score of 48*.
Gaby Lewis was the highest run-scorer against South Africa in the three-T20 series last month. She scored 112 runs at an impressive average of 37, including a fifty. She has provided a 50-run bonus thrice and a 30-run bonus once in the last 10 competitive T20 games.
Nida Dar is a veteran of 105 T20I wickets – the only Pakistani to pick wickets in three figures. She, however, also significantly contributes with the bat. Against Ireland, she has picked 13 wickets and has the highest score of 46 to her credit.
In her 11-T20 career, Ayesha Naseem has already collected 175 runs at 25. To add fuel to the fire, these runs came at a spectacular strike rate of 132 – most of which was achieved at the death.
Arlene Kelly’s all-round skills make her a smart pick in fantasy cricket. In the New Zealand Women’s T20 League earlier this year, she registered the highest score of 41 and the best bowling figures of 1 for 13. On Sunday, she picked the solitary wicket of the dangerous Alyssa Healy.
Georgia Dempsey may not bat at a required strike rate but has the ability to occupy the crease for longer periods. Given the pitch and conditions, her skills will come in handy. In addition to her batting, she also generates fantasy points with her medium-pace bowling.
Tuba Hassan bagged the bulk of the wickets in the Sri Lanka T20Is. Her leg-breaks fetched her 5 wickets at an average of 9. She, moreover, is a good batter. In the Emerging Teams Cup, she scored 21 and 32 as an opener.
Rebecca Stokell registered the highest score for Ireland against Australia. The continuous fall of wickets at the other end affected her momentum. She managed 22 off 33 including two fours.
Ireland have won 2 of 12 T20Is against Pakistan. They, however, pulled off an upset against South Africa, beating them comprehensively. On the other hand, Pakistan edged past Sri Lanka 3-0 at home.
All in all, Pakistan’s experience and team composition keep them ahead in the race, but they cannot afford to take the Irish talents lightly.
Time: July 19, 8:30 PM IST