ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018

Ireland vs Afghanistan, 33rd Match, Super-Sixes 

Venue: Old Hararians Sports Club, Harare

The Big Picture

After the Windies became the first team to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 thanks to a D/L win over Scotland, the fight for the remaining elusive spot is all set to intensify in the last two league matches set to unfold over the weekend, the first of which will be played out between hosts Zimbabwe and the UAE and the next between Ireland and Afghanistan. The winner of today’s match will qualify for the 2019 World Cup while in case of a washout, Ireland will go through on behest of a superior rate. The only chance for Zimbabwe to qualify is if today’s game ends in a tie.

Pitch & Weather Conditions:

While the Pitch at the Old, Hararians has been on the slower side, overcast conditions might just help the fast bowlers early on in the innings.

Analyzing the teams and the marquee players to watch out for:

Afghanistan

That Afghanistan is still in the reckoning is basically due to Nepal who beat Hong Kong in their final league-stage encounter. Nepal’s win over Hong Kong meant Afghanistan qualified int the super-six stage on behest of a superior run-rate. They entered the super-six stage with zero points and on the back of a compelling win compelling win against the Windies and the UAE

While Rashid Khan was the chief assaulter with the ball (5-41), Naib (74) and Zadran (63) played valiantly to dig the team out of the trouble. Afghanistan needs to win by a huge margin in order to better their net run-rate and the likes of Rashid, Shahzad, Shenwari, and others would have to bring their A game against Ireland.

Top IndiaFantasy Picks

1. Najibullah Zadran

With 185 runs in 5 matches including a valiant 63 in the previous encounter, Najibullah Zadran is one of our top picks to perform in tomorrow’s encounter.

2. Rashid Khan

After an indifferent start to the tournament, Rashid Khan came into his own and with a 5-wicket haul to his name in the previous game, he’d be hoping to continue the good work in the all-important clash against Ireland.

Probable XI

Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Shapoor Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Najibullah Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan (c), Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Ireland:

After facing the ignominy of a gut-wrenching loss to host Zimbabwe, Ireland on the back of an outstanding hundred by Andrew Balbirnie (105) and run-a-ball 70 by O Brien, pulled off a 25 run victory over Scotland in a bid to stay in contention for the 2019 World Cup.

While their top-order led by Porterfield, Stirling and the O’Brien brothers have been doing pretty well, the lower middle-order collapse in the previous game against Scotland again highlighted their struggles down the order. Their bowling though has been top-class throughout the tournament by their leading wicket-taker Tim Murtagh (11) and Boyd Rankin which picked up a 4-fer in the previous encounter.

Top IndiaFantasy Picks

Batting: Paul Stirling

With 212 runs at an average of 42.4, Paul Stirling has been a cornerstone of Ireland’s batting throughout the tournament and though he had a rare failure in the previous game, he is expected to play a key role in his team’s fortunes in the upcoming matches.

Bowling: Boyd Rankin

With 12 wickets including a 4-fer in the previous encounter, Rankin has been a revelation for Ireland thus far and the team would be hoping for an encore of the same in the crucial encounter against Afghanistan.

Where to live stream Ireland vs Afghanistan Super-Six encounter?

The live telecast of the match can be streamed at Star Sports Select 2/HD and can also be viewed online at Hotstar.com.