Ireland host Pakistan in the first game of the two-match One Day International (ODI) series at Malahide, Dublin on 18 August (Thursday).
Where to watch live
Match starts at 10.45pm BST. Live coverage of the game is available on Setanta Sports Ireland in the UK.
Hosts Ireland have had a busy summer by their standards, playing Sri Lanka and then Afghanistan in the limited overs format, which is a step in the right direction, giving them a chance to show their talent on the world stage on a regular basis.
They come into this clash on the back of a closely fought series against Afghanistan which they drew 2-2. Opener Ed Joyce in particular comes into the opener in brilliant form, scoring 160 runs in the last game he played.
Ireland will be boosted by the return of batsman Niall O'Brien and bowler Craig Young from injury, with the duo missing the series against Afghanistan. In Joyce, Kevin O'Brien, Paul Stirling and skipper William Porterfield, the hosts have the personnel to actually go on and win the series.
The problem Ireland faced in their last series was that they were inconsistent, not putting in a string of good performances on a regular basis. If they can cut their inconsistency from their game, they could become a force in world cricket in the future.
Fresh from a series levelling win against England in the fourth Test match at Kennington Oval, Pakistan come into this clash full of confidence but albeit with a very different side. Gone are the stalwarts Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq who played an important role in the Test series, and in comes fresher and younger blood into the squad.
Umar Gul's selection surprised many, considering that he last played for Pakistan in April 2015 while Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Rahat Ali and Sohaib Maqsood were dropped from the squad.
Pakistan's form in the shorter formats of the game over the past year has not be good, something which will be a concern to coach Mickey Arthur and skipper Azhar Ali. The series against Ireland, will give the selectors and the fans an indication of the changes and improvements required. Pakistan are favourites to win, but will need to hit top gear at the start or might just be shocked by an ever improving Ireland.
Pakistan to win
Betting odds (betfair)
- Ireland to win: 7/2
- Pakistan to win: 2/11
Squad: William Porterfield (c), John Anderson, Ed Joyce, Peter Chase, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Stuart Poytner (wk), Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Craig Young, Gary Wilson.
Squad: Azhar Ali (c), Sharjeel Khan, Sami Aslam, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Nawaz.