Odds for this match taken from bet365
These two teams have competed against each other in 19 T20 internationals, with Afghanistan claiming 14 of those and Ireland winning five. As for the last five meetings, Afghanistan leads the scoreline by 3-2.
Expect Afghanistan to win the second T20I on Thursday (+200)
Pick made on 08/10/2022 at 09:45 PM EST
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Ireland: Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Gareth Delany, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Andy McBrine, Joshua Little
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Usman Ghani, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Ireland went 12 matches without a victory since Afghanistan’s rise in 2017, until they triumphed in a super over in the second last fixture between the two sides. The most recent clash on Tuesday went down to the wire, with Ireland winning it on the penultimate ball to take 1-0 lead in this five-match series. Afghanistan will look to address their mistakes in the second game and level the series on Thursday.
Usman Ghani was excellent for the visitors, scoring 59 off 42 while Ibrahim Zadran smashed 29 off 18 at the back end to push Afghanistan’s total to 168/7 in 20 overs.
Barry McCarthy picked 3 for 35 in four overs while George Dockrell bowled two overs for 7 runs and snared two wickets. Chasing the target, Ireland had a decent start but Paul Stirling could only manage 31 in 29 balls. Captain Andy Balbirnie scored 51 off 38 whereas Lorcan Tucker smashed a 32-ball 50. Needing 23 off the last two overs, Harry Tector (25* off 15) and George Dockrell (10* off 5) pulled off a memorable victory.
Both Ireland and Afghanistan are at full strength for this series. The Irish team, led by Andy Balbirnie, has shown great form in recent times, coming close to victories on several occasions. The batting unit comprises Stirling, Balbirnie, Tectot, Dockrell and Lorcan Tucker. Tucker’s promotion to no. 3 has been pretty successful. In the bowling department, they have Mark Adair, Joshua Little, Barry McCarthy and Andy McBrine along with all-round options in Dockrell, Curtis Campher and Gareth Delany.
Afghanistan have a solid batting unit with the likes of Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Usman Ghani, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai and Ibrahim Zadran. Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan offer an all-round skill set. Their batting can be strengthened if Hazratullah Zazai replaces Hashmatullah Shahidi. Afghanistan have a strong bowling attack, comprising Rashid, Nabi, Mujeeb, Naveen-ul-Haq and Fazalhaq Farooqi. In the first game, giving a couple of overs to Omarzai cost them big, something they’d want to avoid a repeat of.
Usman Ghani: The 25yr old opening batter is one of the promising batters from Afghanistan. He has done a decent job in international T20s, scoring 660 runs from 27 matches at an average 26 while striking at 111. Ghani has registered four half centuries at this level. He has been very consistent in recent times, with some of his scores in the last eight T20 innings reading 59, 69, 32, 31, 72* and 46. In his overall T20 career, Ghani averages 33 with over 1800 runs and 13 fifties.
Lorcan Tucker: The wicket-keeper batter has had a middling record in T20 cricket, averaging less than 20 and striking at 133. But his recent move to no. 3 has done him wonders, with the batter scoring three fifties in his last three innings. Tucker hammered 77 off just 33 against NorthWest Warriors in the Inter-Provincial Twenty20 Trophy. He then smashed 78 in just 38 balls against the South African bowling attack. Tucker was superb in the first T20I of this series, hitting a 32-ball 50.
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|Teams||Ireland vs Afghanistan|
|Location||Civil Service Cricket Club, Stormont, Belfast|
|Time||Thursday, 11th August, 8 PM IST/2:30 PM GMT|
|How to watch||FanCode Streaming Service (India), SportsMax (Caribbean), Fox Sports & Channel 7 (Australia), Sky Sport NZ (New Zealand), SuperSport (Afghanistan), Willow TV (USA), Sky Sports Cricket (United Kingdom)|
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