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ICC Intercontinental Cup final starts on Tuesday

Afghanistan and Ireland will go head-to-head in battle for supremacy

ICC Intercontinental Cup final starts on Tuesday - Cricket News
William Porterfield will lead Ireland in its campaign to win its fourth ICC Intercontinental Cup title.
The five-day ICC Intercontinental Cup 2011-13 final between Afghanistan and Ireland will be played at the ICC Academy No.1 starting on Tuesday (December 10). Ireland will go into the final as the favorite, having won the tournament three times before, but Afghanistan leads their head-to-head record at the tournament 1-0 after two games.
 
Afghanistan will be led by Mohammad Nabi, the all-rounder, who was largely responsible for his team’s qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in addition to next year’s ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. 
 
Afghanistan won five of its seven league matches in the competition – beating Canada, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia and Kenya – to finish second on the league table, below Ireland. 
 
The Afghanistan squad includes familiar names like Nawroz Mangal, Asghar Stanikzai, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Shahzad, Nabi and others who were part of the team that beat Scotland by seven wickets to win the 2010-11 edition of the tournament in Dubai. 
 
Izatullah Dawlatzai, who features amongst the top five bowlers in the tournament having picked up 30 wickets in five matches at an average of 13.36, will be an important part of the Afghanistan unit when it takes on a confident Ireland side. 
 
William Porterfield will lead Ireland in its campaign to win its fourth ICC Intercontinental Cup title. Ireland finished at the top of the table after winning five of its seven matches, defeating Namibia, Canada, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland and recording two draws against Afghanistan.  
 
In the eventuality that Ireland beats Afghanistan, it will set a new record of winning three ICC tournaments across three different formats in a calendar year after having won the ICC World Cricket League Championship in July and the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier. 
 
Porterfield has not just led Ireland to those trophies, he was also in charge of the team when it defeated Namibia by nine wickets in 2008 to win the ICC Intercontinental Cup in Port Elizabeth, apart from being a part of Ireland’s successful 2006-07 campaign.
 
Apart from Porterfield, Ireland has some seasoned campaigners in its side. Trent Johnston will be playing his fourth final after having led the side to the 2006-07 and 2007-08 victories. John Mooney, Niall O’Brien, Kevin O’Brien and Andrew White are others who have been a part of the previous editions are also part of the current squad. 
 
White also is the second top run-getter in the tournament – behind Khurram Khan of UAE – having accumulated 419 runs in seven matches at an average of 52.37. George Dockrell has been among the top bowlers in the tournament too, picking up 33 wickets in five matches at an average of 16.57. Both will be vital in the final for Ireland.
 
Teams (from)

Ireland:
William Porterfield (captain), John Anderson, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.

Afghanistan: Mohammed Nabi (captain), Mirwais Ashraf, Izzatullah Dawlatzai, Nawroz Mangal, Gulbadin Naib, Shabir Ahmed Noori, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Shahzad, Samiullah Shenwari, Sayed Ahmed Shirzad, Asghar Stanikzai, Dollat Zadran, Afsar Khan Zazai, Rahmat Shah Zurmati.

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