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Afghanistan vs Ireland: T20 International Preview

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Afghanistan will look to continue their winning spree when they take on Ireland in the third and final Twenty20 International (T20I) on Sunday. Ireland, who was outplayed by Afghanistan in the last two games will be looking to make amends across departments to win the last match of the series.

The second match, which was affected by rain, saw Najeeb Tarakai's 58-ball 90, including seven fours and five sixes, to post an imposing 184/8 in 20 overs which proved too much for Ireland, who fell 17 runs short on Duckworth-Lewis (DLS) method in the chase.

Ireland managed to contain the likes of Mohammad Shahzad and Samiullah Shenwari. But despite reducing Afghanistan to 69/4, its spinners were unable to maintain the pressure.

George Dockrell and Jacob Mulder were expensive, conceding 36 and 35 runs in their four overs respectively.

Barry McCarthy's spell of 4 for 33 was a major positive for Ireland, but it will want its spinners to come to the party if they are win the third match.

On the other hand, Afghanistan's spinners are showing much more intent in the field and will look to keep up the good show in the series finale.

Chasing 185, Ireland openers provided the perfect start. At 65/2 in 6.1 overs, Ireland was 12 runs ahead on the DLS method when rain halted play.

When play resumed, Ireland was required to chase 111 in 11 overs, bringing the equation to 46 runs needed from 29 balls.

Rashid's spell rendered the chase impossible, as Ireland stuttered to 93 for 9, falling short of the revised target.

Ireland's middle order was a letdown as was the lower order. None of the batsmen managed to get into double figures.

Given its all-round prowess in the limited-overs formats, Afghanistan will fancy a clean sweep while Ireland will have to make a consolidated effort if it is to stop the Afghan juggernaut.

Teams:

Afghanistan: Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Amir Hamza, Dawlat Zadran, Fareed Ahmad, Gulbadin Naib, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad (wicketkeeper), Najeeb Tarakai, Najibullah Zadran, Naveen-ul-Haq, Rashid Khan, Samiullah Shenwari

Ireland: William Porterfield (captain), George Dockrell, Josh Little, Jacob Mulder, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Greg Thompson, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson (wicketkeeper), Craig Young.