Afghanistan vs Ireland, Second T20I: Preview and Playing XI
Afghanistan defeated Ireland by 16 runs in the rain-curtailed first T20 international to take a 1-0 lead in the three-game series. The hosts will now look to bounce back and level the series when they face the Afghans in the second T20I at the Bready Cricket Club in Bready, Northern Ireland on Wednesday, August 22.
Afghanistan have now won eight out of their eleven T20 internationals against Ireland, including the last six straight.
Afghanistan will go into this match as the more confident side after their impressive win in the opening fixture. The Afghans have won 13 of their last 16 matches. Which clearly describes their form in the shortest format.
Batting: Hazratullah scored a sparkling 74 runs off 33 balls in the first game and the team will want him to carry that form into this match. While Asghar too looked in good touch as he weighed in with a handy contribution of 31.
Mohammad Shahzad scored 29 runs from 22 balls and he will be expected to play a big knock on Wednesday. The performance of these three will once again be crucial for Blue Tigers.
Bowling: Rashid Khan have been the best bowlers for the visitors in this format with 66 and 58 wickets respectively. He claimed a three-wicket haul in the first match. While Mujeeb ur Rahman had a good outing last time around picking 2/14. Both these bowlers along with Mohammad Nabi are likely to fox the Irish batsmen once again.
Expected Playing XI: Asghar Afghan (C), Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Usman Ghani, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Aftab Alam, Fareed Ahmad, Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai.
Ireland on the flipside have not been able to secure a win in their last four T20Is and they are clearly struggling in this format of the game. Having lost the first of the three matches, there is going to be a lot of pressure on the hosts who now must ensure a win here to keep the series alive.
Batting: Ireland's batting is going to depend mainly on the likes of Paul Stirling, William Porterfield, Kevin O'Brien and skipper Gary Wilson. Wilson top-scored for Ireland with 34 runs in the opening game while Kevin O'Brien has scored the most T20I runs at this ground after Scotland's Matthew Cross.
Kevin and Porterfield failed to make an impact in the first T20 which might be a matter of concern for the Irish dugout and they will need these two to fire in next fixture.
Bowling: Tyrone Kane and Joshua Little both took two wickets each the other day. Joshua was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-0-20-2 and he will be backed by his team to strike early. While Kane was quite expensive giving 50 runs in his spell of four overs which he must rectify in the second match. Except them, Peter Chase and Simi Singh picked one wicket each and the team will need them to continue it in the upcoming game.
Expected Playing XI: Gary Wilson (C), Kevin O'Brien, Andrew Balbirnie, Simi Singh, George Dockrell, Tyrone Kane, Joshua Little, Peter Chase, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson and William Porterfield.