Who Will Win Afghanistan vs Ireland, 2nd T20?
Afghanistan defeated Ireland by five wickets in the first T20 international to go 1-0 up in the three-game series. The two teams will now face each other on February 23 in the second T20I which will be played at the same venue – Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Live telecast of the match is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM local time.
AFG vs IRE Toss Prediction
The first game of this series saw the side batting second emerge victorious. Since the second T20I will be played at the same ground and with the pitch not expected to change after the first period of play, the team that wins the toss here will probably want to field first.
Afghanistan Team News & Playing 11
AFG Team News:
Afghanistan are coming off a win and so they are unlikely to make any changes to their line-up for this second T20 international. Hazratullah Zazai and skipper Asghar Afghan will continue to open the batting with Samiullah Shenwari to come in next at number three. Sharafuddin Ashraf had an ordinary outing last time but he is likely to be given another opportunity to showcase his skills. Afghanistan have no injury issues to deal with heading into this game.
AFG Key Players:
Afghanistan’s top-four could collectively score just 33 runs in the first T20I and the team will be expecting a much better performance from them on Saturday. Asghar Afghan and Samiullah Shenwari are both amongst the leading run-getters for their side in this format and the onus will be on them to ensure a good start for Afghanistan. Middle-order batting will depend mainly on Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran who were the highlights with the bat in the last game, adding 86 runs for the sixth wicket. Nabi earned the ‘player of the match’ award for his impressive bowling figures of 2-16 from four overs and his match-winning knock of 49 not-out. The allrounder is definitely the team’s x-factor and so is leg-spinner Rashid Khan who is the number one ranked T20I bowler. Rashid picked 2-21 from four overs and he along with Mujeeb Ur Rahman will continue to be the biggest threat for Ireland.
AFG Recent Form:
Afghanistan’s five-wicket victory on Thursday was their eighth consecutive win in T20 internationals. Prior to this series, they beat Zimbabwe 2-0 at Sharjah, then whitewashed Bangladesh 3-0 at this very ground before securing a 2-0 series win over Ireland in Ireland. Afghanistan put up a splendid performance with the ball in the first game of the ongoing series but they won’t be pleased with their batting as they were reduced to 50-5 at one stage.
Ireland Team News & Playing 11
IRE Team News:
Ireland, despite having lost the opening game of the series, may go into the second T20 international with an unchanged playing eleven. Allrounder Stuart Thompson looked in some discomfort during the first T20I, but nothing seems to be serious and he should be available for this match. Ireland are likely to stick with their new opening combination of Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien while Boyd Rankin and Peter Chase will once again spearhead the team’s bowling attack.
IRE Key Players:
Ireland will want their stalwarts Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie and Kevin O’Brien to fire for them with the bat in the second T20I. Stirling has scored the most runs for the team in the shortest format – 1332 runs which includes 10 half-centuries. The skipper could not convert his 23 into a something substantial but he will look to make a big one this time around. O’Brien is an explosive batsman and Ireland will find themselves in a strong position if he gets going. He is also one of their more successful bowlers in white-ball cricket and can roll his arm over for his team if required. The key men with the ball, however, are Boyd Rankin, Peter Chase and Joshua Little who provided the much-needed early breakthroughs in the first T20I. Afghanistan will also be mindful of Shane Getkate who too chipped in with a wicket and conceded just 21 runs off his four overs.
IRE Recent Form:
Ireland have now lost six of their last eight T20 internationals and two out of the four they have played so far this year. They had a pretty good quadrangular T20I series in Oman where they won two of their three matches – they beat Oman and Netherlands but lost to Scotland. Ireland’s batting looked out of sorts in the last game but their bowlers kept them in the hunt for at least the first ten overs of Afghanistan’s Innings.
AFG vs IRE Head to Head
Afghanistan and Ireland have now played 13 T20 internationals against each other. While the former have won ten of those, the latter have managed to win just three.
Afghanistan have now beaten Ireland in their last eight completed encounters in the twenty-over format.
In the first game of the ongoing T20I series at Dehradun, Ireland were restricted to 132/6 after they won the toss and elected to bat first. Afghanistan were rocked early on in their chase, but sensible batting from Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran guided the hosts to a five-wicket win with four balls to spare.
Matches Played: 13; Afghanistan Won: 10; Ireland Won: 3
Afghanistan vs Ireland Betting Odds
Afghanistan start off as favorites amongst the bookmakers to win this second T20 international. The hosts are being offered at a very short price of 1.20 on Betway, 1.22 on Bet365 and 1.24 on Betfair. Ireland are huge underdogs for this match at odds of 4 on Betway, 4.33 on Bet365 and 4.50 on Betfair.
Afghanistan vs Ireland Prediction
Afghanistan snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the series opener on Thursday and they will be the more confident side going into the second T20I. Ireland bossed the game in the final ten overs of their innings and the first ten overs of Afghanistan’s Innings, and they will be very upset with themselves after having squandered a great opportunity to take an early lead in the series. Instead, they are now 0-1 behind and find themselves under pressure as they cannot afford to lose any of the remaining two matches. Ireland have now lost their last eight completed T20Is against Afghanistan and that will surely play on the back of their mind. The hosts have plenty of momentum on their side with eight successive wins in the format and we expect them to continue their winning run.
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