Ireland vs Afghanistan – 3rd T20 Tips and Betting Preview

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The T20 series between Ireland and Afghanistan continues on Friday as the two teams meet in Belfast in the third T20 of the scheduled five less than 24 hours after the second game concluded, which is quite a tough schedule.

Ireland won that second match to go with the win they picked up in the opener so they have the first of three chances to secure the series here. Afghanistan have to win this match in order to keep the series competitively alive.

Ireland

I think it is fair to say that Ireland have looked comfortably the better of these two teams so far. I guess conditions have suited them more than Afghanistan and the fact they went into the series having been very active over the last month was certainly no bad thing. Ireland still had to convert that into wins though and they have delivered two pretty solid run chases to open up the series and confidence should be beginning to build from there.

The good thing about the second game is that their bowlers restricted Afghanistan to a nothing total. That has been their weakness over the recent weeks so if they start to hit the straps with the ball Ireland are going to build up some real confidence heading to Australia in two months. There has never been much of a question mark over the Irish with the bat but one question they might like to answer over these three matches is whether they can win a game when they bat first.

Afghanistan

This series hasn’t really got going for Afghanistan so far. They were flayed to all parts in the opening match and then in the second one their batting just couldn’t get going. They are in desperate need of a full performance here to keep the series alive. One area of concern will be with the bat. Even when they put up a score in the opening game there were a lot of streaky edges which went for four otherwise they might well have put up an indifferent total there.

We should expect Afghanistan to get better with the more matches they play in these conditions but one issue looks to be that their batters aren’t liking the bounce in the pitches and given that there has been less than 24 hours between this match and the last one, there won’t have been any time for them to work on the technical issues they are having so it might be that they end up relying on one of the batters to have a day out and make them competitive.


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Team News

Ireland haven’t made a change to their side in the series yet and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for that to change here given that the series isn’t won. While building towards the T20 World Cup is one priority, ICC ranking points will be another.

Afghanistan might feel the time has come to change their batting lineup around a bit. They haven’t got many runs from their top order so it might be time for Hazratullah Zazai if he is available to feature.

Betting

Given the short turnaround between the last match and this one I think Ireland have to be taken to follow up their opening two wins with another here. Although I expect the pitches to slow right up and probably go against Ireland the longer the week goes on, you wouldn’t think they would change that much in the space of 24 hours so Ireland can attack this match with a bit of confidence and look to get the series won at the earliest opportunity.

Afghanistan are starting to look a little out of ideas here. Ireland seem to be playing Rashid Khan very well and you sense when the Afghan talisman doesn’t impact the game they are immediately behind the eight ball. He has bowled eight overs in the series so far without taking a wicket and if Ireland play him out again half the battle could be done. After being all over Ireland in his first 11 T20 internationals against them he now has just two wickets in the last four. Ireland bat deep enough and have enough bowling options to make up for what they lose in run rate against Rashid and I think they’re the value to win this.

Tips

Back Ireland to beat Afghanistan for a 3/10 stake at 2.30 with Boylesports

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Author: Martha Chavez