We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Pitch Report for Ireland vs Afghanistan 5th T20I
There has been a thrilling battle between the bat and ball at Belfast this series. In the last two games, we saw 19 wickets fall in the second innings, with the defending team winning both games. Batting, however, has been impactful mostly when the batters played the ball to its merit.
Time: August 17, 8 PM IST
Probable Playing XIs for Ireland & Afghanistan
Probable XI for Ireland: Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Lorcan Tucker (wk), Harry Tector, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Fionn Hand, Mark Adair, Simi Singh, Barry McCarthy, Joshua Little
Probable XI for Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad Malik
George Dockrell, the highest run-scorer of the series, is yet to be dismissed: 10*, 25*, 58*, and 41*. He has also provided bonus fantasy points for his strike rate of 152. With the ball, he has registered the best figures of 2 for 7.
Najibullah Zadran has hit as many as nine sixes, the most in the series. His last two scores read 42 and 50 – the bulk of which came at the death. He has struck at 192.
With seven wickets at a strike rate of 11, Naveen-ul-Haq is the top wicket-taker. Be it the powerplay, middle overs or death, he strikes whenever the ball is handed to him, although it has come at an economy of 8.8.
31 off 10, 2 for 21, and a catch: Rashid Khan did it all in the fourth game. In fact, he has excellent numbers against Ireland: he has taken two five-fors and as many three-fors.
Afghanistan have found Gareth Delany’s wrist spin the most difficult to deal with. His powerplay spell in the last game pushed Afghanistan on the back foot. He has taken six wickets at 15, the best bowling performance for Ireland.
Andie Balbirnie has got starts in three of four T20Is. On two occasions, he capitalised on it and registered scores of 51 and 46. More importantly, he has been smashing the ball from the get-go.
Lorcan Tucker has been the most consistent batter for Ireland, with only one single-digit score in the series. His other knocks read 50, 27, and 31. Although he has not been maintaining the required strike rate, his run-making has gained trust among fantasy players.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz provides fantasy points one way or the other. He has pouched four catches behind the wicket and scored 104 runs at a strike rate of 144. To further highlight his form, he has scored four fifties and a hundred in his last 10 professional T20 games.
Mohammad Nabi has been picked by over 80% of fantasy players in this series. His smart bowling, punctuated with powerful batting, makes him a popular pick. He has taken four wickets in as many games. His job, down the order, is to use the long handle to blasting effect.
Joshua Little went wicketless for the first time after 13 T20Is. During the same period, he took 24 wickets. He has been Ireland’s best pacer for the last two years, especially at the death.
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Ireland vs Afghanistan 5th T20I Match Preview
It’s 2-2 at Belfast, setting up a decider for Wednesday. Ireland, however, have never won a bilateral series against Afghanistan in six attempts. Given the way they have fought thus far, they are close to making history. That being said, Afghanistan have been finding ways to steal victory from the jaws of defeat and it will take great efforts to put them down in the final game.