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Afghanistan started their 2020-2023 ICC World Cup Super League with a thrilling win over the Irish team and they will once again lock horns with Andrew Balbirine and Co. at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi this Sunday in what will be the 2nd ODI of the 3-match ODI series.

Afghanistan are currently placed 5th in the League table. While their opponents Ireland are placed 7th. But it is too early in the league to make a call as there are around 156 matches scheduled to be played over the course and for now the only team that has qualified for the ICC World Cup 2023 is Team India courtesy of being the hosts.

The previous encounter between the two sides was a closely fought encounter. Afghanistan after winning the toss made the right decision to bat first. Debutant Rahmanullah Gurbaz made a dream start to his career by scoring a magnificent 127 runs of 127 balls consisting of 9 sixes and 8 fours. The 19-year old Wicket-keeper batsman also became the first player from Afghanistan to score a century on debut.

At 120 for 1, Afghanistan looked on course for a huge total but lost 5 wickets in the space of 41 runs courtesy of some brilliant bowling by Irish spinner Andy McBrine. It was once again the current sensation Rashid Khan who came to the rescue by scoring a quickfire 50 to take his team to a winning total of 287.

Ireland in reply had a shaky start but the middle-order held together well with Locran Tucker scoring a fluent 83.  But the loss of wickets at regular intervals ensured the home team ended up on the winning side by 16 runs.

Can the Irish bounce back to level the series 1-1? Or will the Afghanis wrap things up much quickly?

Match Toss Time: 09:30 Local (11:00 IST)

Match Start Time: 10:00 Local (11:30 IST)

Match Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Weather Report

The conditions are well in favor of cricket as clear skies are expected throughout the duration of the day. The temperature is expected to be hovering in the 23-18 degree Celsius and the humidity at the peak is likely to touch the 54 percent mark.

Pitch

As we saw in the first ODI, the pitch is an ideal strip for batting. The runs are easy to come by. Said that there has some assistance for the slower bowlers and we saw the spinners dictate things in the middle of the innings. The team winning the toss should be looking to bat first and a score of 270-280 is likely to put the chasing team in a spot of bother.

Team News

Afghanistan covered all their basics well and have also managed to attain the right balance in their side. Their debutant- Rahmanullah Gurbaz did a fantastic job and he has done all justice to the selectors. Naveen-Ul-Haq was slightly on the expensive side but his 3 crucial wickets surely made up for that.  The middle-order will have to step it up in this encounter.

Ireland on the other side did put up a commendable effort but fell short by 16 runs. They will be hoping their batting clicks and the skipper gets to his groove. Paul Stirling once again got a start but fell prey to the veteran-Mohammad Nabi. Andy McBrine was the backbone of the Irish bowling-attack, picking up 5 wickets. He will once again hold the key in this much important match of the visitors.

Probable Playing Xl

Afghanistan (AFG): Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Javed Ahmadi, Asghar Afghan (c), Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Ireland (IRE): Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Simi Singh, Gareth Delany, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Craig Young

AFG vs IRE Fantasy Team

AFG vs IRE Fantasy Team Afghanistan
Cricwizz Fantasy Team

Rahmantullah Gurbaz, Locran Tucker, Javed Ahmadi, Kevin O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Mohammad Nabi, Curtis Campher, Simi Singh, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rashid Khan, Andy McBrine

Captain Picks: Rashid Khan (AFG), Paul Stirling (IRE)

Rashid Khan Afghanistan
Rashid Khan (AFG)

Vice-captain Picks: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (AFG), Simi Singh (IRE)

Rahmanullah Gurbaz Afghanistan
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (AFG)

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