Afghanistan and Ireland will lock horns in the second ODI of the three-match series on Sunday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The Afghans came up trumps in the series opener thanks to a stunning century from the debutant Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Even then, one has to praise Ireland for the kind of resolve in the toughest of conditions and fought till the end.
Afghanistan’s middle order collapsed due to a brilliant spell from Andy McBrine and despite Gurbaz’s ton, it took a cameo from Rashid Khan for them to even reach 287. When Ireland’s turn came to bat, their middle and lower middle-order batted well with Curtis Campher leading the way. Afghanistan though managed to pick wickets at regular intervals and ended up winning the match by 16 runs.
Both the teams have a lot to improve in different aspects of the game and another close game between the two sides can be expected.
Pitch and conditions
The surface in Abu Dhabi held on nicely in the opening game. If the same pitch is used for this encounter, then it might start turning soon. There is no chance of rain during the match though and the temperature will be in the mid-20s throughout the match. Given that the pitch breaks down as the match progresses, the team winning the toss is expected to bat first.
Playing combinations for AFG vs IRE
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan (C), Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq.
Hashmatullah Shahidi, Usman Ghani, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Yamin Ahmadzai, Sayed Shirzad
Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, Andrew Balbirnie (C), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, Lorcan Tucker (WK), Gareth Delany, Simi Singh, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Craig Young.
Mark Adair, Joshua Little, Neil Rock, James McCollum, Shane Getkate
Probable top performers for AFG vs IRE
Rahmat Shah is a technically sound player in this Afghanistan line-up. His job is to hold the batting line-up together in tough times. After a middle-order collapse in the previous game, Rahmat will be keen on digging in this time around and score big. His 2362 runs in 73 ODIs so far is a testament to the quality he brings to the table for his team.
The Ireland skipper Balbirnie has been in the spotlight for quite some time now. Since he has been appointed at the helm, he is yet to play that breakthrough knock. So far on this tour, his scores read, 53, 19 (in practice game), 3, and 15 and clearly they are not inspiring at all for Ireland’s number three. Balbirnie would want to step up and deliver for his team in the must-win game and most importantly, gain 10 more Super League points.
AFG vs IRE Head to Head
Played – 18 | Ireland – 8 | Afghanistan – 9 | NR –1
Live Streaming on Fancode.
The prediction is for the team winning the toss to win the match.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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