PREVIEW: Afghanistan and Ireland face off in the final game of the Super Sixes at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier knowing that the winner will confirm their place at the main event next summer.
If Zimbabwe had beaten UAE in the penultimate Super Sixes game, they would have joined Windies in the top two, making this fixture a dead rubber. However, the hosts' surprise defeat has turned this into a winner-takes-all fixture, with a huge prize on the line.
In the unlikely event of a tie, the door could open for Zimbabwe once again, with the second qualification place being decided on net run rate.
Both Afghanistan and Ireland seem to have got their games in good order after some hiccups along the way.
In their first clash of the Super Sixes against Zimbabwe, Ireland were completely outplayed and lost by 107 runs. However, they bounced back in the second game on the back of an Andrew Balbirnie century, defeating a strong Scotland outfit and getting momentum back on their side.
If momentum does make a difference, Afghanistan will have a lot of confidence going into this game. They had a poor first round, losing three matches and winning one, and just about scraped into the Super Sixes. Their batting has still looked iffy, but the bowlers have been outstanding in ensuring they made it two in two in the Super Sixes.
Ireland: William Porterfield, Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Niall O'Brien, Simi Singh, Kevin O'Brien, Gary Wilson, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Boyd Rankin, Tim Murtagh.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad, Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Stanikzai, Samiullah Shenwari, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
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