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Ireland vs Afghanistan 3rd ODI Preview

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

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Decider!

Can Ireland do it to Afghanistan again?

Two of the newest Test nations go head-to-head in a winner-takes-all clash. With a good rivalry building, neither of these two sides will give in easily.

Ireland won the last bilateral ODI series against Afghanistan, that too after suffering a convincing defeat in the first game. The Irish proved they could do it in foreign conditions in Sharjah, and with home ground advantage on their side, they’ll be really backing their chances. Their batting still leaves quite a bit to be desired, but if their bowlers, led by Tim Murtagh, are as relentless as the 2nd ODI, their batting won’t necessarily have to fire to win the series.

Afghanistan’s landmark 100th ODI was one to forget. They just couldn’t get going with the bat, highlighted by losing four wickets inside the first nine overs, and crawling at under three an over for much of the innings. Rotation of the strike is critical here, so too not losing too many wickets at the top which has been an issue in this series so far. Can they put in an improved showing in the decider?

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Key to an Ireland win

Like the 2nd ODI, Ireland’s best chance of winning is through their bowling.
Reducing Afghanistan to 16/4 was a huge catalyst to victory, forcing the tourists to crawl for the remainder of the innings. Tim Murtagh was simply too good up top, backed up well by the likes of Boyd Rankin and Peter Chase. Can Ireland take all their chances in the field, and put Afghanistan under even further pressure?
Another strong showing from the bowling will render any total around 200 a winning score. Andy Balbirnie, backed up by Paul Stirling and Simi Singh, would be pleased with their efforts. Can the Irish get even more out of their experienced players, especially against the good spin attack of Afghanistan?

Key to a Afghanistan win

Afghanistan’s top order was a rabble on Wednesday. 
Mohammad Shahzad needs to stick through the challenging early periods, and it remains to be seen whether Hazratullah Zazai has the technical nous to do well outside of T20 cricket. The middle order again helped Afghanistan to respectability, but greater substance from the top order is needed, thanks to a busier, more positive mindset.
Also, Afghanistan’s spinners had another good day out in the 2nd ODI, combining for 6/116 in 28.5 overs. The best bet is that they’ll continue to give Ireland problems. Can the batting shape up?

Possible teams

Ireland possible XI: 1. William Porterfield (c), 2. Paul Stirling, 3. Andy Balbirnie, 4. Niall O’Brien (wk), 5. Kevin O’Brien, 6. Simi Singh, 7. Gary Wilson, 8. Andy McBrine, 9. Tim Murtagh, 10. Boyd Rankin, 11. Peter Chase
Afghanistan possible XI: 1. Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 2. Hazratullah Zazai, 3. Gulbadin Naib, 4. Rahmat Shah, 5. Hashmatullah Shahidi, 6. Asghar Afghan, 7. Mohammad Nabi, 8. Najibullah Zadran, 9. Rashid Khan, 10. Aftab Alam, 11. Mujeeb Ur Rahman
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Stats and Facts

  • Ireland won the last bilateral series between the sides, also coming from 1-0 down.
  • Tim Murtagh’s 4/30 on Wednesday are now his best figures in ODIs.
  • Both sides are struggling with their batting, both averaging 22 per wicket in this series.

Prediction

Promises to be an interesting decider, which will come to which side can hold their own better with the bat.
The team most likely? I reckon Afghanistan, as Ireland are less likely to overcome Afghanistan’s spinners. This is why I will pick Afghanistan to pick up a win here to take the series.
Thanks for reading!

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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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