Match: Ireland vs Afghanistan, 3rd T20I (IRE vs AFG)
Date: August 12, Friday, 8:00 PM IST
Venue: Civil Service Cricket Club, Belfast
Afghanistan are in Ireland for a five-match T20I series, the first two of which have been won by the hosts and the two teams will now meet for the third T20I on August 12 at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast.
In the first T20I, Afghanistan scored 168 for 7 in 20 overs after opener Usman Ghani scored a half century. The match went down to the wire, before Ireland chased down the target of 169 in the penultimate ball of their innings. Skipper Andrew Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker scored half-centuries.
In the second T20I, Afghanistan put up a disappointing performance with the bat, managing 122 runs in their 20 overs. Ireland bowlers put up a combined effort, with Joshua Little, Mark Adair, Curtis Campher and Gareth Delany all picking up two wickets each. Chasing 123 runs to win, Ireland got over the line with six balls to spare and five wickets remaining.
The series will provide both the teams an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022. Afghanistan have already qualified for the Super 12 stage, and will share the group with Australia, New Zealand and England.
Ahead of the third T20I between Afghanistan and Ireland, let’s look at the head to head of both the teams, pitch report, weather update, top picks for your MPL fantasy team and more.
Weather update and pitch report for IRE vs AFG, 3rd T20I
The pitch at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast is balanced and not too many high-scoring games have taken place at this venue. A total of 28 T20I matches have been played at this venue, of which 14 have been won by the teams bowling first. The average first innings score on this ground is 121 while the average second innings score is 106. The highest and lowest T20I total recorded at the County Ground is 190 for 5 and 53 for 10.
The weather during the game will be pleasant and the sky will be clear. The temperature will fluctuate between 19 to 27 degrees. No rain is forecast.
Ireland team news and predicted XI
Team news: Ireland have made an incredible comeback to win the first two games after losing 11 international matches on a trot. They will now aim to win the series by winning the third T20I. Both their batsman and bowlers have done well in the opening two matches.
Squad: Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie(c), Andy McBrine, Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, Lorcan Tucker(w), George Dockrell, Mark Adair, Simi Singh, Craig Young, Joshua Little, Stephen Doheny, Gareth Delany, Graham Hume
Predicted XI: Andrew Balbirnie (c), Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker, Harry Tector, Gareth Delany, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Barry McCarthy, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, and Craig Young.
Afghanistan team news and predicted XI
Team news: Afghanistan recently whitewashed Zimbabwe in both the ODI and T20I series, and were expected to be the stronger team in the on-going series. But they have not been able to perform as a team and will be looking to bounce back stronger in the next game.
Squad: Mohammad Nabi (capt), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Darwish Rasooli, Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Karim Janat, Azmatullah Omarzai, Noor Ahmed, Sharfuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Farid Ahmed Malik, Naveen ul Haq
Predicted XI: Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Afsar Zazai, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Rashid Khan, Naveen ul Haq, Karim Janat, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Noor Ahmad.
Head to head record
Afghanistan and Ireland have met each other in 20 T20I matches overall, of which Afghanistan have won 14 . Ireland have lost three of their last five T20Is to Afghanistan.
Total games – 20
Afghanistan – 14
Ireland – 6
Last five games
Afghanistan – 3
Ireland – 2
Five players to watch out for
Here we list five players you must pick in your MPL fantasy XI for IRE vs AFG, 3rd T20I
Andrew Balbirnie – batsman, Ireland
Andrew Balbirnie has done well in both the first two games. He scored a half century in the opening game, before missing out on a half century by four runs in the second game. Balbirnie is one of the most experienced players in the current Ireland team. From 76 T20 internationals, he has a batting average and strike rate of 24 and 125.92. In other T20s, he has played 125 games, scoring 2846 runs at an average and strike rate of 25.87 and 131.03.
Lorcan Tucker– wicketkeeper batsman, Ireland
Lorcan Tucker scored 51 off 38 balls in the opening T20I, and followed that with a knock of 27 in the second T20I. Recently against South Africa, he has smashed 78 runs off just 38 balls at a strike rate of more than 200. Tucker has played 39 T20Is for Ireland, from which he has a batting average and strike rate of 19.43 and 122.20.
Rashid Khan – all-rounder, Afghanistan
One of the best all-rounders in the game’s shortest format, Rashid Khan has failed to deliver in both the games of the series and will now be eager to pick a few wickets in the third game. He put up some fine performances at the recent Vitality T20 Blast and also in the IPL earlier this year. Rashid is also the highest wicket taker for Afghanistan in T20Is against Ireland (34).
Rahmanullah Gurbaz– batsman, Afghanistan
Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored only one run in the second T20I, before which he scored 26 runs in the first T20I. He hasn’t been destructive in both the games, but his overall stats make him one of the top players to have in your fantasy cricket team. Overall in 24 T20Is, the opening batsman has an average and strike rate of 24.79 and 131.63.
Usman Ghani – batsman, Afghanistan
Opening batsman Usman Ghani scored a knock of 59 runs in the first game, which was laced with six boundaries and two maximums. Ghani was unable to get going in the second game and will now look to bounce back to form in the third game.
MPL fantasy XI – IRE vs AFG, 3rd T20I
IRE vs AFG – where and what time to watch the match live in India
The Ireland vs Afghanistan series will not be televised live in in India. But you can watch the game on the Fancode app. The match will begin at 8.00 PM IST on August 12.
Check out our detailed guide on fantasy cricket for more tips and tricks. https://www.mpl.live/blog/todays-match-prediction/
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.