Afghanistan have bowled well in the series to dismiss the hosts for a total under 150 in both the games. In fact, they were able to bundle out Ireland for just 79 to clinch the second T20I by a massive margin of 81 runs.
Spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan, No.1 on the ICC T20 Rankings for bowlers, have been at the heart of the visitors' attack, picking up seven wickets between them in as many overs in the second game, and five in the first.
Additionally, their batting unit looks like a well-oiled machine, reaching a total of 160 in both matches. The star has been Hazratullah Zazai, who has two back-to-back fifties.
While the visitors struggled to get off to a flying start in the second game, their skipper stitched a partnership of 116 for the fourth wicket with Zazai, who made a 54-ball 82.
“Our plans were to get Zazai early, but that hasn’t happened the last two games. I think we contained him pretty well in the first six but obviously, we didn’t get him out,” rued Ireland's Boyd Rankin.
The hosts, meanwhile, have struggled to hold fort with the bat. While their bowlers have claimed 15 wickets in the series so far, their batsmen, including experienced campaigners such as Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson, William Porterfield and Kevin O'Brien have not been able to assert their dominance in the middle.
With a quick turnaround to the one-day internationals, Ireland will be keen for a momentum shift.
Ireland: Gary Wilson (c), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, David Delany, George Dockrell, Joshua Little, Andy McBrine, Kevin O Brien, William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson
Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad, Usman Ghani, Hazratullah Zazai, Shafiqullah Shafiq, Asghar Afghan(c), Samiullah Shenwari, Mirwais Ashraf, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Aftab Alam, Farid Malik
evin O Brienireland afghanistanireland vs afghanistanIreland vs Afghanistan 2018Mujeeb Ur RahmanRashid KhanWilliam Porterfield
First Published: August 22, 2018, 11:19 AM IST