ICC Live

CT 2017 - Buy Tickets - 300x250


What are your thoughts on this article?

Ireland v Afghanistan 3nd ODI, Belfast – Preview

Though the visitor is 1-0 up and will want to stamp its authority, the host can be counted on to bounce back hard

Ireland v Afghanistan 3nd ODI, Belfast – Preview - Cricket News
Having warmed up for the Irish challenge with a 1-0 One-Day International series win over Scotland, Afghanistan continued its good work with a 39-run win over Ireland in the second of their five games – after the first one was washed out – in Stormont, Belfast on Tuesday.
That win, and the way both its batting and bowling units dominated those of the host, give Afghanistan a slight edge going into the third ODI at the same venue on Thursday (July 14).
On Tuesday, Ireland was undone by a lower-order batting collapse. Put in, Afghanistan rode on half-centuries from Mohammad Shahzad and Najibullah Zadran to get to 250, and then its spinners applied the brakes on Ireland’s chase with some disciplined bowling.
With two half-centuries on the trot (the first in the game against Scotland), Shahzad will once again have the responsibility of providing a solid foundation at the start. But, after modest returns in the games so far, the onus will have to be on the rest of Afghanistan’s top order to step up and support Shahzad, as Najibullah did on Tuesday.
Bowling has always been Afghanistan’s strength, and the Asghar Stanikzai-led side did well to restrict Ireland to 211. For the most part of the reply, Ireland looked set to overhaul the target before Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, the two frontline spinners, stifled it with a flurry of wickets.
Mirwais Ashraf, the medium pacer, also struck crucial blows just when Kevin O’Brien looked like he would boss the chase, while Dawlat Zadran finished off the tail expertly.
Rashid, the leg-spinner who impressed during the World Twenty20 earlier this year, registered his career-best ODI figures, finishing with 3 for 28.
Ireland, meanwhile, will be disappointed with the manner in which its middle order approached the target. William Porterfield, the captain, and Ed Joyce started well, associating in a 71-run opening stand, but the rest of the lineup failed to build on starts.
A depleted Ireland side – missing some the regulars due to injury or other reasons – will once again rely on the experienced Porterfield, Paul Stirling, Joyce and O’Brien, who scored a quick 35 after returning a four-for in a losing cause. Ireland is a strong team, and that’s not news to Afghanistan, which will be cautious even as it tries to stamp its authority.
Teams (from)

William Porterfield(capt), John Anderson, Ed Joyce, Mark Richard Adair, Peter Chase, Tyrone Kane, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter(wk, Paul Stirling, Sean Terry, Gary Wilson.

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

Similar Articles