Afghanistan vs Ireland, 3rd T20I, Preview: The Afghan troupe set their eyes on the clean sweep
The visitors will look to put up some fight in the dead rubber.
Updated - Feb 23, 2019 11:36 pm
After the carnage in the second T20I, Afghanistan and Ireland will be back on the field for the last T20I on Sunday. Hazratullah Zazai and Usman Ghani tore the opposition apart with some unbelievable hitting on Saturday night. There wasn’t anything that the helpless Irish team could do with two men going all guns blazing.
While Afghanistan will be still soaking in the memorable victory, Ireland has got a lot of thinking to do. The hosts will aim at nothing less than a clean sweep when they step onto the field for the last match. The side seems to be in great spirits and it won’t be a tough task to pull off another victory. However, it will be a daunting task for Ireland if they are to get anywhere close to win.
After the destructive innings in the second T20I, the hopes on Hazratullah Zazai will rise manifold. Usman Ghani played the perfect partner to Zazai and they will continue to open the innings. The rest of the batting line-up will also be similar to what it in the second T20I. With the series already in the bag, Afghanistan might look to play Zahir Khan in the last game.
Predicted XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Ghani, Asghar Afghan (C), Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Najibullah Zadran, Shafiqullah Shafiq (wk), Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman/Zahir Khan, Fareed Malik.
Ireland could possibly try out James Shannon in the final T20I. The 29-year-old could bat in the middle order if he gets an opportunity. Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien and Andrew Balbirnie will have a great responsibility with the bat. The bowlers will hope to bring out better performances in the upcoming match.
Predicted XI: Paul Stirling (C), Kevin O’Brien, Andrew Balbirnie, James Shannon, Simi Singh, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Stuart Poynter (wk), Joshua Little, Boyd Rankin, Peter Chase.
Focus will be on
Hazratullah Zazai (Afghanistan)
With a spectacular 162 off 62 balls, Hazratullah Zazai blew everyone’s minds apart in the previous game. However, he doesn’t seem to be done as yet. The 20-year-old will look forward to carrying on from exactly where he left in the last game. The hosts will have high hopes and him and will expect him to come trumps again.
Paul Stirling (Ireland)
If Ireland has to do well, skipper Paul Stirling has got a major role to play. He is yet to unleash his best and the final T20I could be the perfect time to do so. Even though his contributions in the second T20I fell short, Stirling will want to play a match-winning knock on Sunday and help his side register a consolation win.
Head to Head
Matches played – 14 | Afghanistan – 11 | Ireland – 3 | No result – 0
TV – DSport
Match Timings – 18:30 IST and local