Ireland’s search for face saving victory in the last ODI
Afghanistan to win
Ireland would be looking for a face saving win as they play Afghanistan in the third and final ODI of the series. While the Irish side did compete in the first game it was an easy win for the Afghans in the 2nd ODI. Ireland which hasn’t had a great tour first against the UAE and now against Afghanistan would be looking to put up their best show in this game and leave for home on a winning note.
The problem for the Irish side has been the inconsistency of their players so far. While we have seen individual brilliances they have collectively failed as a team. The conditions here have been adverse for the Irish team and this has added to their problems. Having already won the series Afghanistan would like to go for a clean sweep that would serve as a confidence booster for the team.
Asghar Afghan would be happy with the way his side played in the last game. The middle order which had failed in the first game stood up to the challenge here and the side managed to register a convincing win. The skipper would now look for a whitewash and want his players to perform the way they have done in the last two games.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz is in good form and so is Javed Ahmedi opening the batting for the side. It was good to see the middle order do well in the last game where Rahmat Shah scored a brilliant hundred while Hashmatullah Shahidi played a classy knock. With Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi and Gulbbadin Naib to follow they have good strength in the batting department.
It was an excellent effort from Naveen-ul-Haq with the new ball in the last game and this would give him great confidence. Mujeeb ur Rahman, Rashid Khan and Nabi continued with their dominance over Irish batsmen. Naib and Ahmadi are experienced bowlers and they bring in great balance to this bowling attack.
Asghar Afghan (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Gulbadin Naib, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq
|M Ur Rahman||10.0||0||46||3||4.6|
|M Ur Rahman||10.0||0||46||3||4.6|
Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Javed Ahmadi, Naveen-ul-Haq, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Rahmanullah Gurbaz
Andrew Balbirnie would be terribly upset with the way his side played in the last game. On a good batting surface most of their players went out playing bad shots to put up a mediocre total on the board and the bowlers too didn’t trouble the opponents. Having already lost the series Balbirnie would want his players to put up a face saving performance and win the last game.
Paul Stirling made a brilliant hundred in the last game but there was lack of support from others in the top. Kevin O’Brien will need to support him well and the side would also look at Balbirnie to make his contributions. Harry Tector, Curtis Camper and Lorcan Tucker are in good form at the moment and the side would hope to see contributions from Simi Singh and Gareth Delany down the order.
Craig Young and Simi Signs bowled well in the last game and they will look to repeat the good show. Barry McCarthy has been expensive and he will need to check his line and length here. Andy McBrine has troubled the Afghan batsmen and must pick wickets here for the side to win. They will also expect good bowling from Delany, O’Brien and Campher in this game.
Andrew Balbirnie (c), Paul Stirling, Kevin O Brien, Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Gareth Delany, Simi Singh, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Craig Young
James McCollum, Mark Adair, Simi Singh, Andy McBrine, Craig Young, Curtis Campher, Joshua Little, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker, Harry Tector, Andy Balbirnie
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||19||0 mm.||3.24 k/h||From: NW||10%|
|03h||19||0 mm.||3.52 k/h||From: NW||4%|
|06h||20||0 mm.||3.36 k/h||From: NW||1%|
|09h||21||0 mm.||5.09 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|12h||21||0 mm.||6.06 k/h||From: NW||0%|
|15h||20||0 mm.||5.52 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|18h||20||0 mm.||5.01 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|21h||20||0 mm.||4.44 k/h||From: NW||0%|
It would be clear skies and perfect weather over Abu Dhabi on January 26. The surface has been slower than its original character but it is still a great surface to bat on as we had seen in the last game. Spinners are enjoying bowling here and the side batting first would have an eye a total in the range of 300 runs here.
Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi is the largest ground in UAE and hence batsmen need to run between the wickets and cannot rely on boundaries. The conditions aren’t best for the fast bowlers who have to mix their line to do well here. Spinners have enjoyed bowling at this venue as there is plenty of turn on this track.
There is little in there for the bowlers on this surface and batsmen can play their strokes on this pitch freely. We have seen big scores being put up at this venue and thus we expect the side winning the toss to have little hesitation in batting first on this track.
Ireland failed to execute their game plan in the last game though they had impressed in the first game of the season. Their struggle against the spinners is a huge problem for the side going into this game. Afghanistan is on the top of their game and did extremely well in the last game with the bat and the ball. In these conditions they would start as favorites against Ireland.
Afghanistan to win