Afghanistan and Ireland will face each other in the 2nd T20 International game. The two teams are the latest to make an entrance as test playing nations in the roster of ICC. The Irish team has a long history of playing in international tournaments, and their victory over Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup will remain etched in fans' memory. However, Afghanistan is one team that has overtaken Green and Whites as neutral's favorite in the cricketing World. The Irish team is high on confidence after recently drawing a series against the T20 specialist nation West Indies. However, they got a reality check against Afghanistan in the first match of the series.
Ireland and Afghanistan
Match: 2nd T20 International, Afghanistan vs Ireland
Date: Sunday, 8th March 2019
Time: 2:00 PM
Venue: Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground, Greater Noida
Head to Head:
The first game between Afghanistan and Ireland derived split pronouncements from the pundits and fans. Many fans believed that the Ireland team, which has often come out as an inferior side against the Afghanistan side in the past few years had a better chance of winning. The first match played in the Noida Sports Complex saw a new version of the Irish side. The team got a great start, and the openers Kevin'O'Brian and Paul Stirling took the game to their opposition. The second game could be a delight to watch.
Well, Ireland and Afghanistan team are two teams which are poles apart on papers. The strength of Afghanistan lies in the exceptional spin bowling strength they have up their sleeves. The bowling of the Afghanistan team is capable of bringing any batting to their knees and the duo of Mujeeb and Rashid, in particular, is arguably the best spin bowling pair in the World. However, they lack in dependency in batting. Though they won the first game but the Afghan team is missing that version of Hazratullah Zazai who decimated the Irish team in an earlier T20 by scoring 162 runs. On the other hand, the Irish team has an enviable opener in Paul Stirling. The strategy to move Kevin'O'Brien up the order worked wonders in the first game. The team also has a decent bowling line up, which consists of Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, and Dockrell, amongst others. Though, a weak middle and lower order is their biggest weakness and could come back to bite them back.
The first game in Noida was turning out an exciting event with Afghanistan needing 40 runs in fast five over and five wickets remaining. The game could have turned any side, but rain played the spoilsport, and the Afghan team won the match by 11 runs via the Duckworth Lewis method. The second game could also be a close fight. However, the middle order for the Irish team will have to put up a better fight against a team that has consistently been getting better off them. However, Afghanistan will start as favorites. The betting odds for the match in some reputable websites are:
Bet365: Afghanistan: 1.30, Ireland: 3.50
Betway: Afghanistan: 1.28, Ireland: 3.25
Both the teams found a few stars in the first T20 and a similar performance could be expected by these players in the second game as well: The top performers could be:
Rashid Khan: Three wickets in the first match at an economy of 5
Najibullah Zaradn: 42 runs in 21 balls at a strike rate of 200.
Mohammad Nabi: Played 16 games against Ireland, scored 368 runs at an average of 36.80, and took 15 wickets.
Paul Stirling: 60 runs of 41 balls at a strike rate of 146.34.
Kevin O Brien: 35 runs of 17 balls at an average of 205.88.
Simi Singh: 2 wickets after giving 18 runs at an economy rate of six. He was also involved in one run out.
Rashid Khan is in exceptional form and is a certain wicket-taker for the side whereas Hazratuallah Zazai is going to be a major run-scorer for the side. Kevin O Brien and Paul Stirling are two explosive batsmen who could be a major points scorer in Dream11. Mohammad Nabi is another player who should be part of the Dream11 squad due to his exceptional hitting techniques.