Match preview: Pakistan v Ireland

2015 World Cup

Venue

Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

Team news

It's not often knock-out places are still up for grabs by the time the final group game rolls around, but that is the case here as both Pakistan and Ireland are still in the running for the quarter-finals.

A win for Pakistan will see them qualify, and assuming the West Indies beat the UAE earlier in the day, that will knock Ireland out. If Ireland win, they will advance, while the Pakistanis will need the Windies to lose.

Both sides are injury-free heading into this crucial game in Adelaide, with Pakistan likely to stick with the strong side that beat South Africa and two others on the road to this sixth game. The fast bowlers have been particularly dangerous.

Ireland's batting has been far superior compared to their bowling, as they've managed some big scores but been unable to prevent or defend them. They've been missing a genuinely quick bowler, something the Pakistanis have in abundance suddenly.

Whoever finishes third in this group, so one of these sides, will face Australia at the same ground as this game, while whoever finishes fourth will face New Zealand. Neither are enticing prospects, but better than nothing.

Last encounter

The sides last clashed in Dublin in May 2013, where one game ended in a tie and the second in a win for Pakistan. Ed Joyce scored a century to see the Irish to 229 for nine, and then a top order collapse for Pakistan required a rescue mission from Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal. Pakistan won by two wickets.

World Cup meetings

They did not meet in 2011, but the event in the Caribbean in 2007 saw the Irish record a three-wicket win. Pakistan were all out for 132, with Boyd Rankin the main damager, before Ireland needed 128 from 47 overs thanks to a rain reduction. They reached that thanks to 72 from Niall O'Brien, after Mohammad Sami ripped through the order.

Key players

Pakistan's pacemen have been quite excellent so far, with Wahab Riaz standing out. Aside from some nifty contributions with the bat, he has taken 11 wickets so far, including three in the win against the Proteas.

The Irish will hope Ed Joyce recovered from the two he made against India in their previous game, because he holds the key to their batting order. He has a ton against Zimbabwe to his name, as well as 84 against the Windies, so can influence a shock win.

Umpires

Marais Erasmus and Ruchira Palliyaguru, Simon Fry (3rd umpire), Ranjan Madugalle (match referee)

Weather

It'll be cloudy for much of the day, but the chances of rain don't appear to be too high. Temperatures aren't likely to go higher than 23 degrees.

Prediction

The battle of the lime green sides should see Pakistan emerge victorious, if only because their bowlers are so much better, and this deck isn't one for massive scores at the best of times.

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