Ireland vs New Zealand, 2nd T20I: James Neesham to score Over 31.5 points in player performance
Even under normal circumstances, 32 points for a pace bowling all-rounder on the stronger of the two teams in the game is enticing. It becomes even more in the XI fielded by New Zealand in the first game, as the team lacks a third specialist pace bowling option, forcing Neesham to fill the role.
Being the team’s third seamer almost always guarantees at least one over at the death. Moreover, given how difficult it was for the home team’s batters on the deck against Lockie Ferguson, they will target Neesham’s bowling; as a result, he’s bound to get a few easy wickets with boundaries as big as Belfast’s.
While taking a couple of wickets in the game is the easiest way for him to reach 32 player performance points, that’s not all. The benefit of backing an all-rounder in these markets is that you get more than one shot at nailing the prediction.
And that’s where his batting comes into play. He is also in good form with the bat, as evidenced by his counterattacking 16-ball 29 in the first game. The 31-year-old has 255 runs at an average of 42.5 and a strike rate of 173 for Northamptonshire in the recently concluded Vitality Blast 2022 season.
So here’s what this prediction has going for it: Neesham can just ace it with the bat or the ball on his best day. And if it isn’t one of those, you can always rely on his all-around value and a catch or two on the field to get you over the finish line.