World T20 2014: Predictions, Key Stats and Fixture Info for Wednesday's Matches

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2014

Ireland batsman Ed Joyce plays a shot during their ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match against Zimbabwe in Sylhet, Bangladesh, Monday, March 17, 2014. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
A.M. Ahad/Associated Press

The first round of the World Twenty20 is well underway as eight teams attempt to qualify for the Super 10s.

Nepal and Bangladesh have made the early running in Group A while, as expected, Group B is led by Netherlands and Ireland, who both have two points. 

Wednesday's play sees the action concentrate on Group B as the Netherlands match up against Zimbabwe and the Irish battle the UAE.

Here are the details of each match and full current standings of the groups:

2014 World Twenty20 First Round—Wednesday, March 19
Time (GMT)Time (ET)Fixture
9:30 a.m.5:30 a.m.Zimbabwe v Netherlands
1:30 p.m.9:30 a.m.Ireland v UAE
BBC Sport
2014 World Twenty20 First-Round Standings
GroupPositionTeamMatchesWonLostTiedNet RRPoints
4Hong Kong2020-2.4240

Zimbabwe v Netherlands

A.M. Ahad/Associated Press

Both teams are evenly matched according to the ICC T20 World Rankings, per ESPNcricinfo, with the Dutch placed at No. 12 and Zimbabwe at No. 14.

Netherlands comfortably won their opening match against UAE, bowling their opponents out for 151, per Ahsan Malik was the pick of the Dutch bowlers, taking three wickets during his spell and bowling nine dot balls.

Tim van der Gugten and Tom Cooper also contributed significantly, grabbing two wickets apiece. 

Netherlands' batsmen took 18 overs to reach their target, hitting the 152 runs needed for the victory for an ideal start. Opener Stephan Myburgh top-scored with 55 runs off 36 balls and is a man to watch on Wednesday.

A.M. Ahad/Associated Press

Zimbabwe had a tough opening match that saw them fall to Ireland, losing the match by three wickets.

They posted a good competitive total in their first innings, hitting 163 for the loss of only five wickets with Brendan Taylor the pick of the Zimbabwe batsmen, as he fired 59 runs off 46 deliveries.

This tie could go either way with both teams having strong batting line-ups, but the Dutch will be slight favourites for a victory that will help them toward the Super 10 stage.

Prediction: Netherlands to win


Ireland v UAE

A.M. Ahad/Associated Press

The Irish will be rightful favourites to beat the UAE and progress to the elite Super 10 stage. Ireland currently sit ninth in the World T20 ranking, per ESPNcricinfo, just one place below England. 

They took care of their opposition in good style in their first match, defeating Zimbabwe by three wickets and posting a run rate of 8.20.

Ireland's top bowlers in the match were George Dockrell and Andrew McBrine, who took two wickets apiece.

A.M. Ahad/Associated Press

Ireland's top order filled their boots to overwhelm their opponents, but none more so than Paul Stirling. The opening batsman hit 60 runs off just 34 balls.

For UAE, several batsmen performed well in their defeat to Netherlands. Khurram Khan hit 31 from 25 deliveries, and Shaiman Anwar smashed 32 off just 19 balls.

It suggests that any sloppy Irish bowling could be punished. 

However, the class of Ireland will prove too much for the UAE, and it should be a comfortable victory for the favourites.

Prediction: Ireland to win 


All World T20 2014 match stats via unless otherwise stated.