Our prediction is Ireland will win the match!
Ireland team would be delighted with their first win this home season in their sixth match. They suffered four losses against the likes of England, West Indies and Bangladesh (twice). Paul Stirling and Skipper William Porterfield added a crucial 99-run partnership in the slow match. They both notched up their respective fifties in the process. Kevin O Brien played a small cameo of 32 runs. Ireland put a respectable score of 210 runs on a tough wicket.
Their bowling unit made short work of Afghanistan batting line-up dismissing them for just 138 runs. Mark Adair took 4 wickets and was the highest wicket-taker last match. Boyd Rankin and Tim Murtagh took 3 and 2 wickets respectively. Andy McBrine was very economical with the ball but failed to get a wicket. Their bowling never allowed the batsmen to settle down and bundled them in just 35.4 overs.
Afghanistan team will be dejected with this loss and they will surely need to win this match to build some momentum leading the World cup. Their batting unit failed and no batsmen managed to score at least 30 runs in this match. Mohammed Nabi, Asghar Afghan and Skipper Gulbadin Nain got starts with 20+ runs but failed to convert them. They were reeling at 40/4 at the end of 20 over the mark. Afghanistan spinners were neutralized with the seam-friendly track at the UK. Dawlat Zadran and Aftab Alam took 3 wickets each and took wickets at regular wickets.
Their bowling unit did a good job to restrict Ireland to a below par score. Rashid Khan took 2 wickets and was the only spinner to take wickets last match. Afghanistan needs to put a good all round show to win against a strong Irish side in their home conditions.
Paul Stirling – Stirling is on a roll with scores of 77, 130 & 71 in his last three ODIs. He adapted the tough pitch very well and played accordingly the last match. He is batsmen who can play well in all the conditions.
Andy McBrine – McBrine did not have any wickets under his name last match but his bowling figure speaks volumes about his impact. He had match figures of 10-4-17-0 and to add it he bowled in the power play.
Recent Stats (This series)
Paul Stirling – 71 runs (94 balls), 6X4s, 2X6s
Mark Adair – bowling figures of 6.4-0-19-4
William Porterfield (c), Kevin O Brien, Gary Wilson (wk), Paul Stirling, George Dockrell, Tim Murtagh, Andrew Balbirnie, Mark Adair, Boyd Rankin, Andy McBrine, James McCollum
James McCollum, Kevin O'Brien, Mark Richard Adair, Andy McBrine, GC Wilson, WTS Porterfield, Paul Stirling, Barry McCarthy, WB Rankin, Tim Murtagh, Andy Balbirnie
Dawlat Zadran – Zadran bowled well the last match and took 3 wickets in his 7 overs. He picked to two wickets inside the power play to set the Irish team on the back foot. He will look to utilize the favorable conditions and add more wickets to his name.
Mohammed Nabi– Nabi tried to impart some momentum in the chase the last match with a quick fire 27 off 25 balls. He smashed 2 boundaries and 2 sixes and failed to cash in on his good start. His bowling was never threatening due to the nature of the track.
Recent Stats (This series)
Asghar Afghan - 29 runs (51 balls), 3X4s
Aftab Alam – bowling figures of 7.5-0-28-3
Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib (c), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Aftab Alam, Rahmat Shah, Mohammed Nabi, Hazratullah ZazaI, Hamid Hassan
Hashmatullah Shahidi, Aftab Alam, Noor Ali Zadran, Asghar Afghan, Gulbadin Naib, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rashid Khan, M Shahzad, Dawlat Zadran, N Zadran, Rahmat Shah
Belfast pitch has been a bowling friendly pitch traditionally and lived up to its reputation the last match. The match tally was less than 350 runs. The fast bowlers will enjoy bowling on this track. We can expect scores in a range of 250 runs in this match. The match day promises to have overcast conditions but has only 20% chances of rain.
Ireland team won the match batting first but both teams will look to chase down the total in the final match. Teams will be confident chasing the total on this pitch. And overcast conditions early in the match may favor faster bowlers
Afghanistan team`s success hugely depends s on their spin department and the kind of pitches at the UK negates their threat. Their fast bowlers and batsmen need to step up their performance here. Ireland team has a perfect balance and team strength on their home conditions. We expect a better fight from the Afghanistan team this match but their home conditions tilt the match in favor of Ireland!
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