Top two associate teams in cricket world Afghanistan and Ireland travels United Arab Emirates to play three day/night ODI matches in Sharjah. Both teams faced each other in five match ODI series earlier this year in India, now set to play in this bilateral series for the first time after earned test status from the ICC. The 1st ODI between Afghanistan vs Ireland is scheduled to start at 2:30 PM Local | 4 PM IST on Tuesday, 5th December 2017.



The top team among Associate nations, Afghanistan back into ODI business for the first time in second half of 2017. They have won ICC Inter-Continental Championship last weekend and head to play in the series with those high level of confidence. Some interesting changes were made in the Afghan ODI selection this time. The experienced all-rounder Samiullah Shenwari could not make into the squad while the 16-years old spinner Mujeeb Zadran earned a maiden call-up to the senior team. As usual Asghar Stanikzai leads the team on this tour. The Afghan squad has 18-members – 15 men in main squad and rest 3 are reserved players. This Afghan squad looks strong with well mixed of experience and young talents. Captain Asghar Stanikzai, Noor Ali Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Nasir Jamal, Ihsanullah Janat and middle-order batsman Najibullah Zadran are the specialist batsmen in the squad along with batting all-rounder Rahmat Shah. Among the above mentioned batsmen, Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah and the captain Asghar Stanikzai scored century each in the recently concluded 4 day test against UAE. Najibullah Zadran was in good touch in BPL recently.

The experienced all-rounders Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib are in the squad to take care of both bat and bowling duties. Nabi had a good time with Comilla Victorians in BPL season, his experiences in T20 leagues around the world would come into play in this series. As usual he is one of the top most fantasy pick in Afghan side. Gulbadin Naib always contributes decently well in the ODI matches. Hopefully, he will play a key role once again in this game. Shafiqullah Shafiq is the specialist wicket-keeper for the series and he is expected to bat in the lower middle-order. Afsar Zazai is the reserved wicket-keeper in the squad. The young and hot bowler in the current cricket world Rashid Khan is expected to expand his dominance in this series. He had a very good series against Ireland earlier this series and will continue his good show on Tuesday as well. The left-arm spinner Hamza Hotak is the other experienced spin option in the team. The young spinner Mujeeb Zadran earned the call-up to the national squad after his stunning performances in recent Youth Asia Cup. He has a chances to make his debut in this game. The experienced pace combo of Dawlat Zadran and Shapoor Zadran are two specialist pacers in the major squad and they are expected to play a crucial role in this game for Afghanistan.



The European team Ireland also heading to this ODI series with the strong win in recently concluded ICC Intercontinental Cup match against Scotland. As usual William Porterfield is the captain of Ireland team. Ireland team faced lot of injury issues in recent times and with that they are in UAE and set to play without players like Ed Joyce and Niall O’Brien. The captain William Porterfield will lead the batting unit which contains Andrew Balbirnie, John Anderson and Gary Wilson. John Anderson has lot to prove in his International career but other three Porterfield, Balbirnie and Gary Wilson has plenty of experiences and they will play a key role for their team in this game on Tuesday. Stuart Poynter has named as a specialist wicket keeper for the tour but he did not get a chance in the Intercontinental cup match last week. He may come into the XI by replacing John Anderson. The top all rounders in the country Kevin O’Brien and Paul Stirling are in the squad. Kevin O’Brien dominated with his all-around performances against Scotland in that 4-day test last week. He is the must pick player in Ireland squad and we hope that he will you lot of fantasy points in this game.

The opener Paul Stirling had a poor game against Scotland, but he always play a key role in limited overs cricket and that will come into play on Tuesday. The recent addiction to the squad, all-rounder Simi Singh has played a very good part in Ireland’s victory over Scotland recently. He contributed with well needed 76 runs with the bat. As it comes to ODI match, he is expected to contribute with a ball too. The Irish squad traveled with heavy bowling attack. The experienced left-arm spinner George Dockrell has over 70 wickets to his name in ODIs and he is expected add some more wickets to a tally with this series. Jacob Mulder, the 22-years old leg-spinner took a place of Andy McBrine in the squad. He may be play an impressive role in this game. Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Peter Chase and Boyd Rankin are the pace unit of Ireland. Barry McCarthy shined well since his ODI debut in 2016 while Tim Murtagh has a plenty of experiences in his 5 years of International cricket. Boyd Rankin and Peter Chase performed well in the recent Intercontinental game and that makes the selection tough for the first game on Tuesday.




  • Asghar Stanikzai
  • Rahmat Shah
  • Mohammad Nabi
  • Ihsanullah Janat
  • Najibullah Zadran
  • Shafiqullah Shafiq
  • Rashid Khan
  • Dawlat Zadran



  • Paul Stirling
  • William Porterfield
  • Andrew Balbirnie
  • Gary Wilson
  • Kevin O’Brien
  • George Dockrell
  • Tim Murtagh
  • Peter Chase




1. Noor Ali Zadran / Ihsanullah Janat, 2. Gulbadin Naib, 3. Rahmat Shah, 4. Asghar Stanikzai, 5. Mohammad Nabi, 6. Shafiqullah Shafiq, 7. Najibullah Zadran, 8. Rashid Khan, 9. Dawlat Zadran, 10. Hamza Hotak / Mujeeb Zadran, 11. Shapoor Zadran.



1. William Porterfield, 2. Paul Stirling, 3. Andrew Balbirnie, 4. John Anderson / Stuart Poynter, 5. Kevin O’Brien, 6. Gary Wilson, 7. Simi Singh, 8. George Dockrell, 9. Boyd Rankin / Jacob Mulder, 10. Tim Murtagh, 11. Barry McCarthy / Peter Chase.




Anand Thiyagarajan

Cricket is what everyone loves. If you’re ready to play fantasy cricket but don’t know how to analyze players, consider his Articles as the foundation of your fantasy teams. Anand is a cricket blogger and fantasy cricket lover.

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