Ireland vs Afghanistan, 2nd ODI Match Prediction2019-05-22
Civil Service Cricket Club, Stormont, Belfast
We predict Ireland to win the match and seal the series 2-0!
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Ireland could not make it to final of the tri-series against West Indies and Bangladesh but now they are just one win away from clinching the ODI series, after beating the visitors by 72 runs in the first ODI match played here. The solid bowling performance allowed them to defend a humble target of 211 in the first match and it must have boosted their confidence.
Afghanistan’s Ireland tour was planned to acclimatize the players to the conditions like what they will be facing in a few days for the ICC World Cup, to be held in England and Wales. They have one last game to experiment with different combinations and fix playing XI for the World Cup matches. Though winning the game is important to Afghanistan, they must be looking at the bigger picture and hence they might give chance to a couple of players who were left out in the first ODI.
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Ireland is yet to win a series post 2017/18 Tri-Nation series played against Scotland and UAE. Their last series win against the visitors came in December 2017 at UAE, when they defeated Afghanistan 2-1. The hosts could not win a single match in their last tri-series against West Indies and Bangladesh. Before defeating Afghanistan in the previous match, their last win was against the same opponent in India, which helped them to draw the series 2-2.
In the first ODI match, the partnership between William Porterfield (53) and Paul Stirling (71) of 99 runs along with Kevin O'Brien’s 32 runs allowed the hosts to post a decent score of 210 and it turned out to be enough for their bowlers to defend. The seamers Mark Adair and Boyd Rankin bagged seven wickets between them, and Afghanistan was eventually bowled out for 138 inside 36 overs. Andy McBrines also played his part by conceding just 17 runs in 10 overs including 4 maidens. Ireland may not have the ticket to the World Cup 2019, but with some focus and discipline, they can claim the ODI series to attain gratification.
William Porterfield(c), Paul Stirling, James McCollum, Andrew Balbirnie, Kevin O Brien, Gary Wilson(w), Tyrone Kane, Mark Adair, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Boyd Rankin
It’s Afghanistan’s last match before joining some of the big teams in the ICC World Cup 2019. The visitors had sealed last ODI series here, defeating Ireland by 2-1 in 2018. Counting previous ODI series win against Scotland, Afghanistan has won 9 series and drawn 3 in past four years, losing only two series, to Bangladesh and Ireland. Now they are not in a position to win this series and at best they could level the series after winning the last ODI match.
In the first ODI match against the hosts, Afghanistan's bowlers did well to restrict them to a moderate total of 210. Dawlat Zadran and Aftab Alam were the top bowlers bagging three wickets apiece, while Rashid Khan bagged two. However, facing exceptional bowling from Ireland, the batsmen eventually surrendered to the pressure caused because of dot-balls, and they were reduced to 40 for 4 early on. Mohammad Nabi (27) and Asghar Afghan (29) tried to balance the sinking ship by adding 54-runs together, but the lower order could not withstand for long and the defeat was imminent.
Gulbadin Naib (capt), Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Rashid Khan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hamid Hassan
The venue for this match is Civil Service Cricket Club, Stormont, Belfast. Here forecast show scattered showers, which could cause interruption through the game. Temperatures could be below 20 degrees. On this ground, the teams batting first have won 12 times while the teams batting second 11 times while 6 matches did not yield results. The highest score here is 301 while the lowest is 96. It would be a good toss to win and bat first and put pressure on the chasing team as the surface is suitable to batting and seam bowling.
Ireland team won the match batting first but both teams will look to chase down the total in the final match. Teams will be confident chasing the total on this pitch. And overcast conditions early in the match may favor faster bowlers.
Though for the visitors, their primary aim is the ICC World Cup and may experiment with a few players, the hosts must be charged up after the first win. Afghanistan has very good strike bowlers to trouble the hosts whereas Ireland bowlers have shown in the first ODI that they can be even more lethal. The statistics are not heavily inclined towards one team, but the hosts have an edge given the pitch conditions and home advantage. Though Afghanistan is a fitting opponent, Ireland’s seam bowling holds the key and on the surface like this one, the hosts have an edge over Afghanistan.
Our prediction is that Ireland would defeat Afghanistan and seal the series 2-0.
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