Ireland vs Pakistan – 1st T20 Tips and Betting Preview

Ireland get their last preparations for the T20 World Cup underway on Friday when they play host to Pakistan in the first of three T20 internationals in Dublin in what should be a good guide to their credentials in the Caribbean next month.

It will be interesting to see how much of their hand each side will play in this mini-series when you consider that they are in the same group in the main event but whoever features will be keen to impress and land a psychological blow.


This will be the first T20 matches for Ireland in a couple of months. The last time we saw the Irish they were going down 2-1 in a competitive series against Afghanistan in conditions which probably weren’t their optimum ones. On home soil they will hope they can perform much stronger and build up a head of steam both in this series and the tri-nations they are competing in ahead of departing for the T20 World Cup. Given that they face Pakistan in the group stage of that tournament they have a chance to lay a marker down here.

For me, all eyes will be on the Ireland bowling attack in this series. Historically in this format the Irish have been more than good enough at the level with the bat in hand but they haven’t backed up their batters when it has come to having the ball in hand. They have found the going especially tough at the end of the innings but having Josh Little improving his game on the franchise scene has helped a little in that department. He is absent for this series though which is less than ideal.


Pakistan head to Ireland off the back of a home T20 series with a second string New Zealand side which they could only draw 2-2 recently. That wouldn’t have filled them with confidence with less than a month to go until they get their T20 World Cup campaign underway so they will be eager to use these three matches to finalise their plans ahead of the tournament but also to build up some confidence. They have this series and then another one with England and then they get going in the World Cup so they need maximum focus now. This is Pakistan though and there is always something going on behind the scenes.

Pakistan have announced that Gary Kirsten will be their white ball coach but he isn’t expected to join up with the team until they get to England at the end of next week. Babar Azam is back as captain once again. We know that whichever combination Pakistan use with the ball that they are going to be competitive but the question is whether they have enough power with the bat and will score quickly enough to put up the big scores which are likely to be required to win the World Cup. This is a good early chance to show that they do have what it takes to do that.

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Ireland go into the three match series without their key bowler Josh Little and that leaves a huge hole in their attack. They look strong with the bat though so expect Ireland to pack themselves with all-rounders.

Pakistan have named an 18-man squad for this series so it will be interesting to see whether they pick their strongest XI from the start. Imad Wasim has come out of international retirement ahead of the World Cup and he could be included.


I’m not going to get massively involved in this opening game until I’ve seen the two teams in action and how they are lining up and everything else but we have three matches on this ground in five days so you would imagine the pitch is going to be a hard one from the beginning so that the square holds up. It isn’t going to suit anyone to have any of this series played on tired pitches if they are using it as preparation for the World Cup.

With that in mind, I think we can expect a relatively high scoring match here. We have perfect weather in Dublin for this match so I do expect the batters to have the better of it. This Ireland bowling unit isn’t going to cause too many sleepless nights to the Pakistan batters. Pakistan bowlers will have more joy but Irish players have played in franchise leagues and seen these players in action. The one thing Ireland do have on their side is they bat very deep and that combined with a weak bowling unit generally leads to higher scoring matches so I like over 314.5 runs in this one.


Back Over 314.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365