Netherlands, Zimbabwe and Ireland learn Super 12s opponents

Ireland, Zimbabwe and Netherlands have learned their opponents for the Super 12s stage of the T20 World Cup

Ireland's Gareth Delany (C) celebrates his wicket of West Indies' Evin Lewis with teammates during the ICC mens Twenty20 World Cup 2022 cricket match between West Indies and Ireland at Bellerive Oval in Hobart on October 21, 2022. - -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images)

After a dramatic and ever-changing week of T20 cricket, the advancing teams have confirmed their opponents and fixtures for the Super 12s of the T20 World Cup in Australia


Netherlands will play in Group 2 of the Super 12s

Advancing in 2nd place from Group A after Muhammed Waseem denied Namibia, Netherlands are drawn into Group 2 in the Super 12s. They’ll face a series of tantalising contests, including games against India and Pakistan

But first, the Dutch must decamp from Geelong and head for Hobart. Their Super 12s opener comes against an out-of-form Bangladesh on Monday. This offers the Dutch an ideal opportunity to continue their momentum and one of their best chances to pick up a third win of the tournament.

Next up, the big fish. The Oranje head north to Sydney, and will face India for the first time in T20Is, and only the 3rd time in internationals. India’s last meeting with the Netherlands came at the 2011 ODI World Cup, a match India won by 5 wickets.

The Dutch then head westwards to Perth, tackling Pakistan on the afternoon of Sunday the 30th. The Dutch hosted Pakistan for three ODIs earlier in the year, and whilst they lost all three, they fell only 9 runs shy of a famous win in the third match. The two sides have only met once in T20I, with Pakistan claiming the contest at the 2009 World T20.

Finally, the Dutch head for Adelaide for their last two group stage games. First up is Zimbabwe on 2nd November. The two sides last met in the final of the T20 World Cup Qualifier in July, where the Zimbabweans came out on top. Nevertheless, this is a game for the Dutch to earmark as a potential win, against their lowest ranked opponent.

The final game of the Super 12s will be against South Africa on 6th November. The two sides have only met once in T20Is, at the 2014 World T20, with the African side taking the spoils.

The Dutch have advanced to the second round only once before, at the 2014 event in Bangladesh. In that tournament, they won one match in the Super 10s against England. The Dutch will aim to match that record, or even go better to achieve two wins.


Zimbabwe have advance to the second round of a T20 World Cup for the first time

Zimbabwe have progressed beyond the first round of a T20 World Cup for the first time in their history. As the Group B winners, the Chevrons will join Netherlands in Group 2 of the Super 12s, alongside India and Pakistan.

Having played their first three games in Hobart, Zimbabwe stay put in Tasmania and get and extra rest-day before their Super 12s opener. That comes against neighbours South Africa on Monday 24th. Despite geographical proximity, the two sides have only met 6 times in T20I, with South Africa holding a 100% record.

The Chevrons then travel to Perth to play Pakistan on Thursday 27th October. Pakistan are Zimbabwe’s 2nd most frequent opponent in T20Is, with 17 head-to-head games. However, the Zimbabweans have only 1 win within those, which came in their most recent series in 2021.

The only side Zimbabwe have played more than Pakistan in this format is Bangladesh, who are their third fixture of the Super 12s. The match will take place in Brisbane on 30th October, and is one of the Chevrons’ best chances to win in the Super 12s. In their 19-match history against the Tigers, Zimbabwe have 7 wins, their most against any opponent.

Next up is Netherlands in Adelaide. The Chevrons hold a 2-1 lead in their head-to-head record, winning their most recent match: the final of the World Cup qualifier in June. This will be another chance for Zimbabwe to pick up a victory, playing against their lowest ranked opponent.

Finally, Zimbabwe round out the Super 12s by playing India at the MCG. Although the Chevrons will be underdogs against India, they do have two wins against India in their seven completed T20Is, so may believe an upset is possible.

Already their most successful tournament, the Chevrons can only go higher from here. But with Bangladesh and Netherlands to play, Zimbabwe may be targeting 4th place and automatic qualification for 2024.


Ireland will join England and Australia in Group 1 of the Super 12s

Runners up in Group B, Ireland advance to the second stage of a T20 World Cup for the first time since 2009. They’ll join Group 1 in the Super 12s, a group featuring hosts Australia and neighbours England.

Like the other first round qualifiers, Ireland start their Super 12s campaign in Hobart. They tackle Group A winners Sri Lanka in their opening game, a side against whom they have a sparse record. In fact, the two sides have only met twice in T20Is, both times in ICC events. Sri Lanka won both contests, the most recent by 70 runs in the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Next up, the big one: England. The match takes place at the monstrous MCG in Melbourne, as Ireland take on their neighbours on 26th October. Ireland have several memorable victories against England, including their most recent match – an ODI in Southampton in 2020. But the two teams have never completed a T20I. Their only match to date was a washout at the 2010 World T20.

Ireland have two games at the MCG. Their second, on 28th October, is against long-term rivals Afghanistan. This will be a game Ireland target for a win, having come off a 3-2 series win at home earlier in the year.

And then northwards, as Ireland take on hosts Australia in Brisbane. This will only be the second meeting between the two sides in T20I, the other being at the 2010 World T20, a game won by Australia.

Ireland’s final game of the Super 12s comes against New Zealand in Adelaide on 4th November. The two sides played a three-match series in Belfast earlier in the year, with the visitors taking all three games relatively comfortably.

When they made the Super 8s in 2009, Ireland lost all three games of their games. Arguably in the tougher group, the Irish will face a challenge to record their best ever tournament. However, they can expect to be competitive against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan following strong performance earlier in the year.

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