Match Preview – Afghanistan vs Eire, ICC Males’s T20 World Cup 2022/23, twenty fifth Match, Group 1

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On geographical phrases, Afghanistan and Eire are maybe two of essentially the most peculiar rivals throughout cricket, however the depth of this rivalry was borne out of a battle for Affiliate supremacy all through the 2010s earlier than each side had been elevated to Take a look at standing in 2017. Whether or not locked in a digital useless warmth in that period, or joined on the hip within the time since then because the contemporary faces of the Full-Member society, these two sides know one another higher than most at this match.

Eire and Afghanistan confronted off in three consecutive match finals on the Males’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in 2010, 2012 and 2013, of which the lads in inexperienced gained the latter two. These are a part of the 23 occasions these sides have met earlier than within the format since their first encounter in 2010. Remarkably although, this would be the first time they face off in a T20 World Cup correct.
Barring these back-to-back wins within the finals of the qualifier, Afghanistan have dominated the rivalry, thanks largely to Eire’s lack of ability to barter Rashid Khan. However the tide shifted this previous summer time in Belfast when Eire took a five-match collection by a 3-2 margin. Rashid solely took one wicket within the three matches that Eire gained, highlighting a easy equation that has usually decided the destiny of the outcome over time. Rashid takes wickets – Afghanistan wins. Eire sees him off – Eire wins.

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Afghanistan: LLLLW (final 5 accomplished matches, most up-to-date outcome first)

Within the highlight

For many of his profession, Eire captain Andy Balbirnie batted at No. 3. However since Kevin O’Brien was dropped following Eire’s disastrous efficiency within the 2021 T20 World Cup within the UAE, Balbirnie has moved himself into the opening function and has justified the choice by doubling his prior profession tally of 4 T20I half-centuries. The newest of these got here towards England on the MCG, and he additionally served as a catalyst for the opening spherical win over West Indies that took them into the Tremendous 12s with 37 off 23 balls.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz was the finest six-hitter within the Asia Cup, clearing the ropes on 12 events to make 152 runs at a strike charge of 163. It would take that form of muscle to clear the ropes on the MCG. He was additionally one in every of solely three gamers to attain a half-century for Afghanistan in the course of the five-match collection held in Belfast in August.

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George Dockrell has recovered from Covid-19 – he performed anyway towards England and Sri Lanka after testing optimistic – and ought to be high-quality to go towards Afghanistan. It is unlikely Eire will change the successful mixture that noticed them beat England on the similar floor.

Eire (possible): 1 Paul Stirling, 2 Andy Balbirnie (capt.), 3 Lorcan Tucker (wk), 4 Harry Tector, 5 Curtis Campher, 6 George Dockrell, 7 Gareth Delany, 8 Mark Adair, 9 Barry McCarthy, 10 Fionn Hand, 11 Josh Little

Afghanistan too are more likely to follow the identical mixture that took the sector 5 days earlier towards England regardless of a dropping effort.

Afghanistan (possible): 1 Hazratullah Zazai, 2 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 3 Ibrahim Zadran, 4 Usman Ghani, 5 Najibullah Zadran, 6 Mohammad Nabi (capt.), 7 Azmatullah Omarzai, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 10 Fareed Ahmad, 11 Fazalhaq Farooqi

Pitch and circumstances

The MCG has favored seamers on this match and traditionally favors chasing sides with 10 out of 16 males’s T20I matches gained by the group batting second. The choice to chase could also be much more enhanced by the forecast for Friday. Following the rain that halted England’s chase towards Eire and compelled Afghanistan’s match towards New Zealand to be washed out fully, an 80% likelihood of showers is forecast from 8 am till 8 pm on Friday.


“I’ve seen lots of rain in my time enjoying cricket, and I’ve by no means been happier to see that rain come down when it did.”
Eire captain Andy Balbirnie on the ending to their win over England on the MCG.

“We’re not simply right here to take part however right here to win matches. We have got gamers and a squad that may do this.”
Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott on their strategy to this 12 months’s match.


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