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Ireland v Afghanistan 2nd ODI, Belfast – Preview

Teams will hope the rain stays away after the first game was washed out

Ireland v Afghanistan 2nd ODI, Belfast – Preview  - Cricket News
Mohammad Shahzad will be a vital cog of Afghanistan in the second ODI against Ireland.
Having lost the first One-Day International to rain, both Ireland and Afghanistan will look for a winning start in the second of the five-match series at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast on Tuesday (July 12).

Afghanistan has been on top of its 50-over game over the past year, winning a couple of series against Zimbabwe and a couple of one-off one-dayers as well. It even warmed up in its tour of Europe with a 1-0 ODI series win over Scotland, after the first match ended with a no-result due to rain.

Najibullah Zadran and Rahmat Shah showed good application with the bat in that first ODI, while Mohammad Shahzad made the difference in the second match before a collective effort from the Afghanistan bowlers handed the side a 78-run win by Duckworth-Lewis method. The side would also expect Noor Ali Zadran to find form at the top and Asghar Stanikzai chip in as well.

Ireland leads the head-to-head record against Afghanistan 3-1, but was outplayed by Sri Lanka last month and has an unenviable tasking of regrouping since those losses. Kevin O’Brien, William Porterfield and Andy McBrine were crucial for Ireland against a young Sri Lankan side, and they should play an important role this series as well.

Ireland is missing some key players due to injury or availability issues. Niall O'Brien injured his calf muscle before the Sri Lanka series while playing county cricket, while Boyd Rankin is away on county commitment. Mark Adair, the allrounder, earned a maiden call-up, but withdrew from the series due to a back injury.

Peter Chase, the right-arm pacer, was roped in to replace Rankin, while George Dockrell, who was left out of the squad initially, was called back to cover for Adair.

With vital ICC ODI Team Ranking points to play for, both sides will be eager for the rain to stay away and the cricket action to begin. 

Teams (from):
William Porterfield (captain), George Dockrell, John Anderson, Peter Chase, Ed Joyce, Tyrone Kane, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter, Paul Stirling, Sean Terry, Garry Wilson.

Afghanistan: Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Amir Hamza, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Javed Ahmadi, Mirwais Ashraf, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad, Najibullah Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Rashid Khan, Samiullah Shenwari, Shapoor Zadran, Yamin Ahmadzai.

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