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|Mark Richard Adair||7||10||0||0||70.00|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||10.0||0||35||0||3.50|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Mark Richard Adair||6.4||0||19||4||2.85|
World Cup is thriving in Ireland and Scotland with a total of as many as six teams having been there to play cricket in the current month. After having a reasonably successful home series against Ireland, the Afghanistan side finds themselves facing them again, but this time in Ireland. This will be Afghanistan final set of preparatory matches before the beginning of World Cup. Ireland are coming off a poor run in their tri-series against West Indies and Bangladesh and will be keen to make amends and showcase their capability against a very good Afghanistan side. The two teams are set to lock horns at Belfast on 19th May and it certainly promises to be a cracker of a contest.
It must be hurting for the Irish side to sit back and watch other teams come and test themselves out ahead of the mega ICC event while they themselves sit back and watch the tournament unfold. Having said that, Ireland will be pretty content with the game time they are getting ahead of the tournament.
Afghanistan just managed to book a berth in the 10-team tournament ahead of Ireland and that is what might sting the most when they face the Asian side in the upcoming series. Ireland would not want to come out second again, especially after being demolished by Bangladesh and West Indies.
Apart from their back to back losses in the tri-series, Ireland have plenty of positive points going for them in the upcoming series. They don't really have to acclimatize to the conditions which is always a huge thing while playing in this part of the world. Other than that, their batsmen, especially Andy Barbirnie has been in splendid form and smashed a remarkable hundred not long ago.
Their bowling, however, hasn't done as well as they'd have liked, but considering Afghanistan's lack of experience of playing in cold and windy conditions, they might have that extra bit of margin for error. Also, to add to that, the Asian side isn't known as well for their batting as Bangladesh or West Indies are, and with conditions likely to favor quick bowlers, the Irishmen will be fancying their chances.
PR Stirling, James McCollum, Andy Balbirnie, WTS Porterfield, Kevin O'Brien, Mark Richard Adair, GC Wilson, George Dockrell, TJ Murtagh, WB Rankin, Andy McBrine.
Afghanistan haven't really played a lot of cricket since the change in their captaincy from Asghar Afghan to Gulbadin Naib. One of their matches was washed out due to rain while in the other match, which was cut short due to rain, they just managed to sneak in with a three-run win as per DLS method. Things could have been tighter had the match gone on for full length.
They'll have a tough call on whether to include Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi in their playing eleven, both of whom are returning from a pretty taxing Indian Premier League. Barring those two, Afghanistan do not really have a bowling attack which will both the Irish batsmen. As seen against Scotland, their other bowlers lack the same kind of penetration as Rashid Khan and Nabi and their bowling will definitely not be strong enough.
Their batting, however, looked in strong hands with the likes of Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Shahzad, and Hashmatullah Shahidi displaying some fine form in the last few encounters. Historically, Afghanistan have been neck and neck with the Irish side despite having a relatively late entry to the international scene.
M Shahzad, Hazratullah Zazai, R Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Considering the clouds of uncertainty hovering over the inclusion of Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, we have decided not to include them in our Dream11 lineup. However, they both are automatic picks and one should make changes accordingly after the toss. Check out our complete Dream11 team below and don't forget to check the updated version right after the toss.
With Afghanistan's qualification for the World Cup, Ireland was the side which was impacted the most. The home team here would love to put a dent in the Asian side's World Cup preparations by highlighting at least a few vulnerabilities in these conditions and consequently drawing a couple of wins. Afghanistan, on the contrary, are coming on the back of some superb performances and will be looking to march into the marquee event with some momentum behind them. Considering the two sides on paper, they both seem to be evenly matched. Ireland, however, have the home advantage which makes them slight favorites to win the upcoming fixture.
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