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Afghanistan take on Ireland in the second ODI of a 3-match series at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The first game of the series went down to the wire as Afghanistan held their nerves till the end to register a 16-run win. They would now be aiming to win the next match to clinch the series and get 10 more points for the ODI Super League.

R Gurbaz marked his ODI debut in style, scoring a brilliant hundred. He will be looking to give his team a good start again, along with J Ahmadi. The likes of R Shah, A Afghan, and M Nabi will have to play well in the middle order, after having failed to do so in the last game. N Zadran and R Khan hit some big shots at the end of the innings. M ur Rahman and Naveen-ul-Haq bowled brilliantly and will be hoping to repeat their performance in the second game.

Ireland would be proud of their efforts in the last game, despite suffering a loss. They seem to be getting used to the pitch conditions in the UAE. It will be interesting to see if the side can show character and win this game to level the series against a strong Afghanistan side. 

P Stirling, K O’Brien, and A Balbirnie will have to make good contributions with the bat, after having failed in the last game. In the middle order, H Tector, C Camper, and L Tucker all performed splendidly in the last game. C Young and B McCarthy were expensive with the new ball. However, A McBrine’s five-wicket haul helped in restricting Afghanistan to a below-300 total. 

With Ireland looking to bounce back from the last game and level the series against Afghanistan, it should make up for a pretty exciting contest.

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Match Details

  • Match: Afghanistan vs. Ireland, 2nd ODI
  • Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
  • Date & Time: Jan. 24, 2021, at 11.30 AM IST

Probable Playing XI


R Gurbaz (WK), J Ahmadi, R Shah, A Afghan (C), N Zadran, M Nabi, G Naib, R Khan, A Omarzai, M Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq


P Stirling, K O Brien, A Balbirnie (C), H Tector, L Tucker (WK), C Campher, G Delany, S Singh, A McBrine, B McCarthy, C Young

Weather and Pitch Report

The weather is expected to be sunny and clear for the second ODI match in Abu Dhabi. The temperature will be around 23 degrees during the game.

The Sheikh Zayed Stadium is a large venue and has a good batting surface. Batsmen will need to time their strokes and run hard between the wickets. The conditions will be difficult for the fast bowlers, who will get limited bounce from the surface. Spinners will enjoy bowling here as the pitch offers plenty of turn. The average first innings score in the last five ODIs on this ground has been 252 runs.

The pitch became slower during the second innings of the last game and the ball started to grip and turn more. So expect the captain winning the toss to opt to bat first. A first innings score of around 270 should be a challenging target.

Key Players

  • R Gurbaz scored a brilliant century on debut and held the innings together for Afghanistan in the last match. His 127 included eight boundaries and nine sixes. He will be looking to give another good start at the top of the order.
  • R Shah has a decent record in ODI cricket for Afghanistan. He has scored 2362 runs in 74 matches at an average of 34.73, including 4 centuries and 16 half centuries. He was dismissed cheaply in the last game and will look to make up for it in this game. 
  • R Khan put an outstanding all-round display in the last game. He scored a quick-fire 55 off 30 balls and took 2 for 56 in his 10 overs spell. He will look to continue his performance from the last game here.
  • P Stirling was the second highest scorer for Ireland in the last game, scoring 39 runs before getting dismissed. He is one of the most experienced players on the team and will look to play a big innings in this match.
  • C Campher is slowly becoming a reliable player for Ireland, despite having played just 6 ODIs so far. He steadied the innings after the loss of 4 quick wickets and put up a crucial partnership for the fifth wicket. He can bowl a few economical overs in the middle overs too.
  • A McBrine showcased one of his best bowling performances in ODIs in the last game, taking 5 wickets for 29 runs. He bowled well in the middle overs and did not allow the Afghanistan batsmen to score freely. He will look to pick more wickets here.

Howzat Dream Team

  • Wicketkeeper: R Gurbaz
  • Batsmen: R Shah, P Stirling, A Balbirnie
  • All-rounders: M Nabi, C Campher, S Singh 
  • Bowlers: R Khan, M Ur Rahman, B McCarthy, A McBrine
  • Captain: N Nabi/R Khan
  • Vice Captain: S Singh/P Stirling
Howzat Dream Team Afghanistan vs Ireland

NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own dreateam, and play fantasy cricket matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.

Get fantasy cricket tips on your favorite fantasy sports app and select your own team, Howzat!

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