Ireland and Afghanistan are set to face-off in a rematch of the pivotal game three years ago which saw the men in green's 2019 World Cup dreams dashed in Zimbabwe.
Afghanistan v Ireland, 1st ODI
Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi
Thursday, 21 January, 10.00am local time, 06.00am GMT
A big stand-off is building as the first of a three-match ODI series gets underway between Afghanistan and Ireland, with the series playing a vital role for the Irish in their quest to reach the 2023 World Cup in India. These three matches form part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.
Last time, Afghanistan and Ireland met in an ODI was 21 May 2019 in Belfast, where the visitors won by 126 runs. The Afghans were also the team to cut their World Cup dreams short three years ago when they knocked them out in the qualifiers back in 2018. Afghanistan have not played an International match since March 2020.
An unofficial warm-up match was played between the two sides last weekend, providing a chance for the teams to size each other up. It could prove to be a useful exercise in deciphering the opposition ahead of the match.
What they said:
Andrew Balbirnie (Ireland captain): “We’re fully confident that we play good cricket and that we can come away with 30 points, but we’re going to have to do it (play good cricket) for all three games – they come thick and fast, but that’s what everyone is here for: we’re here to get 30 points and if we don’t come away with that, we’ll be disappointed.”
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