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Paul Stirling looking for further success in ODI series

HARARE: Following their series win in the recent T20 International series, Ireland Men are set to start the three-match One Day International series against Zimbabwe from 13 December.

Ireland captain Paul Stirling – delighted with their victory in the T20I series – wants to add to that success with another win in the ODI series.

Speaking about the T20I series win, Stirling said:

“The most pleasing thing was we weren’t at 100 percent. I said before the series started that we needed to be at our best to win these games, and I still believe that we have a lot to improve on. That’s our challenge now, particularly in the first match of the series. We haven’t had the best of results, so if can somehow turn that around and take a 1-0 lead in the series tomorrow, which is our objective tomorrow, I think that will stand us in good stead, and tick off a couple of areas that we’ve already looked to improve on.”

This is the third time Ireland Men have played in Zimbabwe in 2023, with the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers sandwiched in between two multi-format tours, and Stirling is more than happy to be back:

“We always enjoy coming to Zimbabwe. Three tours to the same place in one calendar year is probably unheard of, but we are warmly welcomed when we do come here. We play good competitive cricket and that’s set to continue this week.

“It always a great atmosphere here in Harare, particularly at the weekends. We know that they come in their numbers and whenever Zimbabwe are on top the place really gets rocking. We welcome as much support, even support for the opposition, because that’s the atmosphere that we want to play in in international sport.” 

On the challenge facing his side in this week’s ODI series:

“We know that when Zimbabwe are at their best, they are a very strong side. I’m sure they’ll have a couple of their most experienced players back in the side and the challenge will be even trickier. We’ve played a lot of 50-over cricket here, particularly this year, so we know how the game will transform. I think it really comes down to who plays the best cricket on the day. I don’t think there’ll be any real surprises. We know that it will start at 9.15 in the morning, it will be good to bat for periods of time, and it might get trickier as the day goes on. Both teams are pretty well set and well versed in what’s going to come.”

Can Ireland continue their winning ways after the success in the T20 series:

“That was our objective coming here. It’s the first time that we won an overseas series against a Test playing nation in the T20 format. We managed to do that in the ODI format against the West Indies, and now the challenge is try and win this series either 2-1 or 3-0. The first game of the series is so vital. We want to try and go into the rest of the series with a 1-0 lead. That’s definitely something I can’t really remember us doing in the past, so if we step up and play our best game tomorrow that’s all that matters.”

FIXTURES

  • 13 December: Zimbabwe v Ireland – 1st ODI (Harare Sports Ground; starts at 9.15am) (7.15am Irish time).
  • 15 December: Zimbabwe v Ireland – 2nd ODI (Harare Sports Ground; starts at 9.15am) (7.15am Irish time).
  • 17 December: Zimbabwe v Ireland – 3rd ODI (Harare Sports Ground; starts at 9.15am) (7.15am Irish time).

SQUAD

  • Paul Stirling (Capt), Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Graham Hume, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Theo van Woerkom, Craig Young.

 

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