Ireland vs Afhghanistan, First ODI : Preview and Playing XI
Afghanistan and Ireland face each other in the second chapter of Afghanistan's current tour to Ireland.The visitors won the T20I series 2-0.
Irish men will look to restore some pride in their preferred limited-overs format when the ODI series starts at Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast on Monday, August 27.
Afghans lost their most recent ODI series against the touring Ireland team in December 2017 by 1-2.
The first game saw Afghanistan post 238/9 before bundling out Ireland for just 100 runs. In the second fixture, Ireland made a strong comeback. Batting first, the hosts scored 271/9 and went on beat Afghans by 51 runs. They carried on the momentum in the final game to thrash the visitors by 5 wickets and 12 overs to spare.
Blue Tigers dominated Ireland in the shortest format and they will be going into this opening game of the ODI series riding high on confidence.
Batting : With the bat, the onus will fall on the likes of Mohammad Shahzad, Asghar Stanikazi and Samiullah Shenwari to deliver the goods with the bat. Skipper Asghar has batted well so far on this tour. Shahzad will like to catch-up his form and provide good starts from the onset.
All Rounder : Mohammad Nabi has scored the most runs and has taken the most wickets for Afghanistan in the 50-overs format. The allrounder did not have a great T20I series but he is expected to make a bigger impact in the longer version of the game.
Bowling : With the ball, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are two main weapons in Afghanistan's arsenal. The former is the world No. 2 bowler in ODIs and also was the leading wicket taker in T20I series against hosts. The latter also trobuled the hosts a great deal in the T20I series.
Expected Playing XI : Asghar Stanikazi(C), Samiullah Shenwari, Ihsanullah Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Aftab Alam, Dawlat Zadran and Mohammad Shahzad.
Ireland were in glistening ODI form in their most recent series in UAE. They whitewashed both UAE and Scotland in the series. But they lost their way afterwards as they failed to qualify for Cricket World Cup 2019 after losses against Windies, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan in CWC qualifier 2018.
Batting : With the bat, skipper William Porterfield has been their leading run scored in the 50-overs format with 3692 runs which includes 11 centuries and 15 fifties. Gary Wilson looked promising in the T20I series and there will be plenty of hopes pinned on him as well.
All Rounder : Kevin O'Brien too is amongst the team's leading ODI run-getters and he is also their leading ODI wicket-taker with 111 wickets in 125 matches. The all-rounder therefore will have an important role to play in both the departments.
Bowling : Ireland's bowling will rely heavily on George Dockrell, Peter Chase and Boyd Rankin. Chase and Rankin will be backed by their skipper to pick up early wickets with the new ball while Dockrell's job would be to apply pressure in the middle over
Expected Playing XI : William Porterfield (C), Andrew Balbirnie, Gary Wilson, Kevin O'Brien, Simi Singh, George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin, Peter Chase, Andy McBrine, Paul Stirling and James Shannon.
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