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Monday 4 March 2019
The fact that the ODI series consists of five matches gives Ireland a chance to bounce back. Had this been a three-match affair, with the second match being washed out, Ireland would not have been able to win the series from here on. This is the cushion that a longer series provides.
Batting first, Afghanistan got off to a good start with Hazratullah Zazai and Javed Ahmadi putting together 90. When the team lost their first wicket in the 15th over, the platform was set by that time. Rehmat Shah, playing at one drop, scored a half-century and so did Hashmatullah Shahidi.
.However, Ireland bowlers started to come back into the match with some quick wickets towards the end. Mohammad Nabi was dismissed for 226 and after a couple of overs, both Hashmatullah Shahidi and Gulbadin Naib were dismissed. George Dockrell looked the most impressive for Ireland, picking up three wickets while Andy McBrine got two.
If one analyses the match, one can say that even though Ireland were successful in getting a few wickets towards the end and Afghanistan would have been disappointed to not capitalise on the start that they got, with the bowlers that Afghanistan has got, it would have been very difficult for Ireland to chase the total.
However, Ireland would have an opportunity to prove the critics wrong as they step out on the field for the 3rd ODI.
Let's have a look at the probable playing XI of both teams.
Afghanistan- Hazratullah Zazai, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Ikram Ali Khil, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Sayed Shirzad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Ireland- William Porterfield, Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Simi Singh, Kevin O Brien, Stuart Poynter, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, James Cameron-Dow, Boyd Rankin
Cricket Betting Tips and Match Predictions*
Who will win? – Afghanistan
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) –Paul Stirling (Ireland), Hazratullah Zazai (Afghanistan)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Boyd Rankin (Ireland), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
Most Sixes – Paul Stirling (Ireland), Hazratullah Zazai (Afghanistan)
Team Scores Batting First – Ireland 240+, Afghanistan 270 +
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
©Cricket World 2019