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Out-of-form Ireland Look to Avoid Whitewash Against Afghanistan

ICC | Updated: August 24, 2018, 9:18 PM IST
Out-of-form Ireland Look to Avoid Whitewash Against Afghanistan

Ireland players celebrate the fall of a wicket. (Twitter/ ICC)

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Asghar Afghan and his men will look to continue their dominant run by winning the third T20I against Ireland, having already secured an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. Ireland, meanwhile, will be eager to turn their fortunes around at the Bready Cricket Club on Friday.

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.

Squads

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
First Published: August 22, 2018, 11:19 AM IST
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 India 4397 116
2 South Africa 3712 106
3 England 4722 105
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 Australia 3663 102
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