Man of the Match: Andy Balbirnie
Afghanistan dominated the T20Is against Ireland! Will it dominate the ODIs?
Our prediction is Afghanistan to win the 3rd ODI!
Afghanistan out batted Ireland in the T20s to clinch the series 3-0 and came back to win the first ODI match too. Afghanistan almost batted for 48 over’s in the 2nd ODI before the rain came on to end the game last night. Opener Hazaratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi scored fifties and had some good match practice. Every batsman in their top order has spent valuable time in middle and scored runs in the ODI series so far. Skipper Asghar Afghan and All-rounder Mohammed Nabi may come earlier in the batting order this match. Pacer Sayed Shirzad and Keeper Ikram Ali Khil were handed their debut caps and are expected to play in this match too. They look to test their bench strength before the all important World cup. Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid khan are their bowling mainstays and are expected to make inroads in the opposition batting line-up.
Ireland team looked more competitive in the ODIs after being dominated in the T20Is. Ireland is still looking for the elusive win in the Indian soil this tour. Paul Stirling was the lone warrior in the first essay and rest of the batsmen needs to step up to support him. Their bowlers fared better in the Odis with some assistance from the pitch. Boyd Rankin and Andy McBrine have provided crucial breakthroughs at the top and are effective with the ball. Simi Singh plays his role to perfection with containing the batsmen in middle over’s in both the matches. George Dockrell has looked a very valuable player for the team with his batting and bowling so far in the ODI series. Debutant James Cameron-Dow was expensive last match and bowled just 4 over’s leaking 36 runs.
Hazaratullah Zazai – Shahzad Nicknamed as Afghanistan Gayle, Zazai showed what he is capable off with a stroke filled 67 in the second ODI. Sixes and boundaries come thick and fast when he is grease and he is a tough batsmen to contain.
Rashid Khan – Rashid Khan is an international star now and he picked up 11 wickets in the completed T20I series and looks at his usual best. He is an exciting talent to watch when on song.
Stats from the series:
Hazaratullah Zazai – 92 runs , Average – 48, Strike rate -108, Hs-67, 50s-1
Mujeeb Ur Rahman – bowling figures of 10-3-14-3 in the first ODI match.
Asghar Afghan (c), Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sayed Shirzad, Hashmatullah Shahidi
Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Nabi, Hazratullah Zazai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rahmat Shah, M Shahzad, N Zadran, Dawlat Zadran
Andrew Balbirnie – Balbirnie had silent outings in the T20I series and the first ODI. He needs to make his mark in the ODI series to help his team`s cause.
Tim Murtagh – Murtagh has bowled economical so far but he is yet to take a wicket in the ODI series. He needs to take wickets at the top to stop the momentum of the Afghanistan batting line up.
Stats from the series:
Paul Stirling – 89runs (150 balls) in the first ODI match.
George Dockrell – 4 wickets at an economy of 5.9 (BB-3/51)
William Porterfield (c), Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Simi Singh, George Dockrell, Stuart Poynter (wk), Kevin O Brien, Tim Murtagh, Boyd Rankin, Andy McBrine, James Cameron-Dow
Simi Singh, Andy McBrine, George Dockrell, WTS Porterfield, Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie, Kevin O'Brien, WB Rankin, Stuart Poynter, James Cameron, Tim Murtagh
The pitch used for ODI`s are different from the track used in the T20Is and pitch is more slower and run-scoring is not so easy as in the T20Is. The average score in this pitch will be from 260-280 runs. The weather forecast looks sunny with only 10% chances of rain on the match day.
The pitch seems become slower as the match progresses and batting becomes difficult in the second innings. Both teams will look to use the advantage of batting first in this pitch.
Afghanistan team seems to be having the perfect preparation for the World cup by ticking all their boxes and their players are responding well to team`s needs. Ireland side seems improvising with every match, but we still expect Afghanistan to win this match.
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