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IRE vs AFG, 2nd T20I – Fantasy Preview and Top Picks

Match: Ireland vs Afghanistan, (IRE vs AFG, 2nd T20I)

Date: August 11, 2022 – 8 PM IST

Venue: Civil Service Cricket Club, Stormont, Belfast

Where and what time to watch the match live in Afghanistan

For those in India, you can catch all the live action of the series between Ireland and Afghanistan on the online streaming platform FanCode.

Ireland vs Afghanistan, 2nd T20I:

Ireland edged Afghanistan in the first T20I by seven wickets to take 1-0 lead in the five-match series. The two teams will meet in the second game at the same venue in Belfast on Thursday, August 11.

Andy Balbirnie-led Irish side restricted Afghanistan to 168/7 in 20 overs, with Barry McCarthy being the pick of the bowlers with his 3 for 34 in four overs. George Dockrell was excellent as well, picking 2 for 7 in his two overs. Usman Ghani top scored for the visitors with 59 off 41 balls at the top of the order while Ibrahim Zadran blasted 29* in 18 balls to give them a death overs push.

Ireland started the chase smoothly with Paul Stirling and Balbirnie adding 61 runs in 7.3 overs. Stirling could only make 31 off 29 but Balbirnie laid the foundation for the chase with 51 off 38 balls. Lorcan Tucker continued his form and smashed a 32-ball fifty. The home side needed 23 in the last two overs, when Harry Tector (25*) and Dockrell (10*) took them over the line on the penultimate ball.

Pitch Report and Weather Forecast for IRE vs AFG, 2nd T20I

The Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast has generally provided assistance for the bowlers. A total of  27 T20Is have been played here, with the average first innings score reading 121. However, the pitches have been better this year, with the average first innings score of 173 from four matches.

The weather in Belfast is expected to be clear on Thursday evening with no chance of precipitation. The temperature will be around 15°C, with humidity around 78%.

Ireland – Expected XI and Team News

Ireland are at full strength for the series, with Andy Balbirnie, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker and George Dockrell forming a good batting unit. The bowling attack comprises Mark Adair, Joshua Little, Barry McCarthy and Andy McBrine. Gareth Delany and Curtis Campher offer a good all-round value.

Probable XI – Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie (c), Harry Tector, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Curtis Campher, Andy McBrine, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Joshua Little

Afghanistan – Expected XI and Team News

Afghanistan have picked a strong squad for this series. Hazratullah Zazai didn’t play the first T20I and if he’s fit, he should replace Hashmatullah Shahidi. They have a full strength bowling attack, comprising Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi, Naveen-ul-Haq and Fazalhaq Farooqi

Probable XI – Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Usman Ghani, Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi

Head to head record of IRE vs AFG

Total Encounters – 19

Afghanistan Won – 14

Ireland Won – 5

Afghanistan lead the last five encounters by 3-2.

2nd T20I: Five players to watch out for in the IRE vs AFG match

Here we take a look at five key players you must pick in your MPL fantasy XI:

Usman Ghani: Batter, Afghanistan

Usman Ghani is coming off a good knock in the series opener, scoring 59 in 42 balls with six fours and two sixes. The promising Afghan batter has done well in T20 internationals, with 660 runs at an average of 26 and strike rate of 111, including four fifties. The 25yr old has been in great form, coming in the back of six 30+ scores in the last eight T20 games, including three fifties.

Lorcan Tucker: Wicketkeeper Batter, Ireland

Lorcan Tucker hasn’t had a great record in the shorter format but his move to no. 3 in recent times has worked magnificently. He made 50 off 32 balls in the opening game of the series, putting Ireland in a strong position. Recently, Tucker blasted 77 off just 33 balls in an Inter-Provincial Twenty20 Trophy game. He then went on to smash South African bowlers for 78 off 38.

Andy Balbirnie: Batter, Ireland

Andy Balbirnie is the most secured batter in the Irish batting line-up. He has a good T20I record, having scored 1586 runs in 75 matches at an average of 24 while striking at 126. The Irish skipper has seven fifties to his credit in the format. Balbirnie is coming off a player-of-the-match performance, scoring a 38-ball 51 in the first T20I.

Rashid Khan: Bowler, Afghanistan

Rashid Khan has gone wicketless in the last two games but he remains a top pick. He was superb in the T20 Blast in England last month, picking six scalps in the last three games. His career numbers highlight just what a magician he’s with the ball in hand, with 466 wickets in 338 matches at an economy of 6.37 and 16.7 strike rate.

Najibullah Zadran: Batter, Afghanistan

The 29yr old is arguably the best batter in the Afghanistan side. The left hander is a powerful striker of the ball, having scored 1377 runs from 74 matches at a strike rate of 140 while averaging 34. Zadran has hit seven half centuries in T20I cricket. He smashed 397 runs in the recent domestic T20 league at 57 average and 163 strike rate.

MPL Fantasy XI

Note: The players recommended here need not be a part of the Playing 11 on game day. Users are advised to do their own research also and follow official sources and create their teams.

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