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56/3 in 6.48.40
95/5 in 15.06.33
Toss Winner - Ireland won the toss and chose to bowl first
Ireland beat Afghanistan by 7 wickets
Ireland to play the series decider against Afghanistan.
We predict that Afghanistan will defeat Ireland.
Tournament: Ireland vs Afghanistan 2022 | Format: T20 | Venue: Civil Service Cricket Club, Belfast, Northern Ireland | Toss: To BowlBet Now
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Ireland is all set to host Afghanistan in the series decider of the 5-match T20I series at Civil Service Cricket Club, Belfast. The match is scheduled to play on 17th August from 8 pm onwards. Afghanistan made an excellent comeback after being down 2-0 to tie the series 2-2. The visitors won the fourth game by 27 runs.
After the rain interruption, Afghanistan batted first to set a target of 133 runs in 11 overs. Najibullah Zadran’s half-century was followed by a monstrous hitting at the bottom by Rashid Khan (31* off 10). Ireland started really well by putting 28 runs onboard in just 10 deliveries. But Fareed Malik’s crucial spell followed by Rashid Khan and Naveen-ul-Haq’s finish saw Ireland getting knocked out on 105. Afghanistan won the game by 27 runs to tie the series, 2-2.
The fifth game will be the series decider. Ireland has a chance to win its first T20I series against Afghanistan. On the other hand, Afghanistan have 16 victories in 22 matches against Ireland. This makes them a little worried, especially after the comeback. They have won all the T20I series (4) against Ireland on earlier occasions. This will be the final game before the ICC T20 World Cup for both teams.
Ireland lost the plot after leading the series 2-0. Not only did the bowlers bleed the runs, but two of Ireland’s crucial players- Paul Stirling and Harry Tector failed to score throughout the series. Stirling (55) and Tector (46) have cumulatively scored 91 runs in 4 games. This has put pressure on the top order. Fortunately, skipper Andrew Balbarnie has 113 runs in 4 games at a strike rate of 134.52 while opening. Lorcan Tucker has been fantastic at the top with 112 runs at 125.84.
George Dockrell is the leading run-scorer of the series with 134 runs at a strike rate of 152.27. But he is not getting enough support in the middle order. Dockrell scored 58 followed by 41 in the games Ireland lost this series. Hopefully, Tector gets his mojo back for the final game to help Dockrell’s hard work turn into the desired result.
Gareth Delany and Joshua Little will lead the bowling attack with Mark Adair and Barry McCarthy. Delany who is a batting all-rounder is Ireland’s leading wicket-taker in the series with 6 wickets. Joshua Little (5 wickets) and Delany have given less than 7.5 runs throughout the series. Unfortunately, McCarthy and Adair, who is Ireland’s main front haven’t shown any signs of destructive spells. Both have 8 wickets in 4 games at an economy of 9-plus.
Key Players: Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Mark Adair.
Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Lorcan Tucker (wk), Harry Tector, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Curtis Campher, Fionn Hand, Mark Adair, Graham Hume, Joshua Little.
Mark Adair, Simi Singh, Curtis Campher, Joshua Little, Paul Stirling, Barry McCarthy, George Dockrell, Lorcan Tucker, Gareth Delany, Harry Tector, Andrew Balbirnie
Back-to-back wins must have reduced the pressure on Afghanistan. And it was the fruit of the efforts from both the batting and bowling unit. After scoring 189 in the third game, Afghanistan went a step ahead to score 12 runs per over in the fourth. The hero of both games was Najibullah Zadran. Zadran scored 42 off 18 with 5 sixes in the third game followed by 50 off 24 with 2 fours & 3 sixes in the fourth game. His overall strike rate for the series is 191.66 - 39 more than players scoring 100 runs in this series.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran have reduced the pressure of the middle-order. Both have scored 104 and 83 runs respectively at a strike rate of more than 145. Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi has been poor with the bat as the veteran has just scored 25 in 4 games. But he has taken 4 wickets with the ball at an average of 20. Hopefully, Nabi plays a captain’s knock if required with the bat or helps the team with the ball in the decider.
Naveen-ul-Haq is the leading wicket-taker of the series with 7 wickets at an average of 16.88. He will lead the attack with Fareed Malik. Malik took 3 wickets for 14 in the fourth game in his 2 overs of the spell. Surprisingly, the greatest Afghanistan leg spinner Rashid Khan has just 2 wickets in this series and has already conceded 111 runs. Yet he was the man of the match in the fourth game for his 31 off 10 balls and 2 wickets for 21. Well, Rashid knows how to play the crucial games more than anyone on the team.
Key Players: Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq.
Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Usman Ghani, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Usman Ghani, Naveen ul Haq, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Azmatullah Omarzai, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi
The atmosphere will be partly cloudy with a 60% chance of rain. The temperature will range between 13 and 18°C. The wind will be flowing from the southwest at 10-15 km. The pitch offers assistance to pacers with some early bounce. But it tilts to help spinners in the second innings. Overall, it is a bowlers' paradise with the expectation of low-scoring games.
The 2nd T20I between Ireland and Afghanistan will be played at Civil Service Cricket Club, Belfast. It has hosted 34 ODIs & 29 T20Is so far. Bangladesh has posted the highest T20I score of 190 for 5 against Ireland at this venue. At the same time, the lowest score remains 53 in Nepal.
In 29 T20Is, teams have successfully chased the target on 16 occasions. The team batting first has defended the target on 12 occasions. Even in the last five games team batting second has won 3 times. The team winning the toss should field first.
Ireland had a dream start by winning the first two games. But Afghanistan caught them sleeping in the next two games. Afghanistan holds a record of 16 wins against Ireland in 22 matches. They are yet to lose a T20I series against Ireland. And the biggest problem for Ireland is that Afghanistan has 11 wins, 2 draws, and only 2 losses in the last 15 T20I series. Ireland lost three against India, and three against New Zealand, and are on the verge to lose three against Afghanistan.
We predict that Afghanistan will defeat Ireland.
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