Afghanistan vs Ireland – 1st One-Day International Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is Afghanistan vs Ireland taking place? Thursday 21st January, 2021 – 05:30 (UK)

Where is Afghanistan vs Ireland taking place? Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

What is the expected weather for Afghanistan vs Ireland? 24c with sunshine and cloudy intervals

What channel is Afghanistan vs Ireland on? The match will be televised live on FreeSports (Sky Channel 422) in the UK

Where can I stream Afghanistan vs Ireland? The match will not be streamed live in the UK

LAST MEETING
Afghanistan beat Ireland by 126 runs

THE TEAM NEWS

AFGHANISTAN

  • Afghanistan have not played a one-day international since November 2019 where they lost 3-0 in a home series against West Indies so they will be eager to get back to action in this format of the game.
  • While they have typically been more suited to the shorter format of T20, they are determined to improve in the 50-over format but they will have to improve on their recent record that has seen them lose their last 12 games with their last win coming against Ireland in May 2019.
  • Their star trio of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi have all left their BBL teams to join up with the squad in time to quarantine and play this opening game and they will form the core of their talented bowling attack, but ultimately their batsmen remain under pressure to produce which has traditionally been their weakness.

IRELAND

  • Ireland’s four-match series against hosts UAE was reduced to just two games due to COVID issues in the UAE camp so their preparations and tour have been disrupted throughout but they will take heart from their performance and victory in the second game.
  • After losing their first match against the UAE, they responded well last time out to win by 112 runs but it was not looking great at 10/3 when batting first and their total of 228/6 was arguably below par until they bowled the hosts out for just 116 thanks to an impressive bowling performance by Simi Singh.
  • They are likely to keep faith with the same line-up that won the game last time out to give them continuity and more time in the middle especially for the likes of Stirling, O’Brien and Balbirnie who struggled last time out.

THE PREDICTION

This three-match ODI series between Afghanistan and Ireland promises to be a close-fought one as the two sides are relatively well matched on paper. Afghanistan have struggled in the longer format with so many of their key men more suited to the shorter format of the game. Ireland certainly have more experience and a greater skillset over the longer format which should suit them and they are helped by having played two games against UAE ahead of this. Afghanistan’s players may be lacking in game time apart from their star trio that have come from the BBL and the pressure will be on the likes of Nabi, Mujeeb and Rashid Khan to inspire them to victory. Ireland however should have the edge overall in terms of sharpness and that could just see them to victory in what should be a close game.

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