World Cup Qualifiers

World Cup Qualifiers – Super Sixes – Match 9 – Ireland vs Afghanistan – Fantasy Preview

Teams which earned test status last year, Ireland and Afghanistan meets each other in the last Super Sixes match in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers tournament. Both are an equally strong teams and Harare will witness one more thriller with this clash. Super Sixes match 9 between Ireland vs Afghanistan is schedule to start at 9:30 AM Local | 1 PM IST on Friday, 23rd March 2018.



The Irish team has won 4 out of 6 matches so far but those losses against West Indies and Zimbabwe reduces Ireland’s possibilities to be in the World Cup 2019. First of all, Ireland’s fate relying on Zimbabwe vs UAE clash. If Zimbabwe win then this match between Ireland and Afghanistan will turn into dead rubber. But in case UAE upsets Zimbabwe, then this match will turn out as Semi-final clash. Captain William Porterfield opens the batting along with his regular partner Paul Stirling. Both of them had some memorable moments in the tournament. The 33 years old William Porterfield has scored a total of 274 in 6 innings with the highest score 111. The all-rounder Paul Stirling had picked only a wicket in three innings he bowled. But, with the bat he managed to score 232 runs in runs and his highest score was 126 runs. Andy Balbirnie who started the tournament with 68 runs, got to dismiss for single-digit scores in next 4 innings. But his timely century in the last game makes him as a key player and chances are high for him to go for big runs again. The experienced Ed Joyce was dropped for the last game, he will keep warm the bench as his replacement Simi Singh  did a good job.

Wicket keeper Niall O’Brien had a good game against Scotland and scored 70 runs at strike-rate 100. He is batting at crucial no.4 and he has a role to play with both bat and behind stumps in this game. The most promising player of Ireland Kevin O’Brien claimed a tally of 5 wickets in 6 matches but the all-rounder had played some firing knocks with the bat. First he scored a 26-balls 50 runs against UAE and also scored 27 balls 46 runs against Scotland other day. Kevin O’Brien is the all-time key player and he could provide match-turning performances at any moment. Gary Wilson’s poor form till continuing and because of that he may makes a way for Ed Joyce. All-rounder Simi Singh had played only two matches in the tournament and he claimed 5 wickets in those two games. He didn’t score much on both of those matches but he is capable of playing a brief cameo too. A three men pace attack works well for Ireland side and that trend will continue in this game as well. Boyd Rankin picked a tally of 14 wickets in 6 matches while his new-ball partner Tim Murtagh picked 13 wickets. Barry McCarthy did his part well and claimed 7 wickets in 4 matches. All three of them are expected to keep their places safe for this game.



For Afghanistan, situations and possibilities are similar to Ireland. Afghan side fate will be decided by the clash between Zimbabwe vs UAE. If Zimbabwe fails to beat UAE or rain ends that match without a result, then Afghanistan will stay alive and must beat Ireland to advances to World Cup. The regular captain Asghar Stanikzai who was sidelined with an appendicitis recovered well and played the last game. With his arrival the acting captain Rashid Khan got relief from leadership burden and concentrated on his bowling well. Rashid who struggled to bowl on his standards throughout the tournament, bowled really well and grabbed a five wicket haul against UAE other day. Gulbadin Naib’s sensible 74* and Najibullah Zadran’s run-a-ball 63 helped their team to register a third win in a row. The power-hitter Mohammad Shahzad’s current poor form hurts Afghanistan in a big way and this will be his last chance to make an impression and to stay in the team. The opener Javed Ahmadi made a way for his skipper Stanikzai in the last game. Gulbadin Naib was promoted to an opener’s slot after quite long time and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands and played an unbeaten match-winning knock. He didn’t pick many wickets with a ball but his good batting show would boost him and he will come with an all-round show in this clash.

Rahmat Shah had a mixed tournament with bat. After back-to-back good innings Rahmat dismissed for 16 runs in the last game. He is the classy batsman and he could come with big innings against Ireland. There were a batting collapse in middle-order against UAE. Samiullah Shenwari (2 runs), Asghar Stanikzai (4) and Mohammad Nabi (6) all those experienced players walked back one by one other day. It was the first failure with a bat for Nabi but Shenwari dismissed for single-digits in all 3 matches that he played. As Shenwari struggling to score, Nasir Jamal may come into a frame once again. All rounder Mohammad Nabi is the best consistent performer of the tournament for Afghanistan and he has job to do with bat and bowl once again. The middle-order batsman Najibullah Zadran is in fine form and contributed with runs in almost every match. Bowling all-rounder Sharafuddin Ashraf who struggled in the first half of the tournament slowly getting back to make an impact with a ball. He might play a key role in this crucial game. Finally, Rashid Khan came out of captaincy pressure and that brought best out of him other day. He is the match winner and no wonder if he shines with bat too. The 16-years old off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman picking wickets in regular intervals, hope for him to add few more wickets to his kitty. After that nice bowling performances against UAE, pacer Dawlat Zadran will retains his place in the XI.




  • William Porterfield
  • Andy Balbirnie
  • Kevin O’Brien
  • Simi Singh
  • Andy McBrine
  • Barry McCarthy
  • Tim Murtagh

Top Pick – Paul Stirling



  • Mohammad Shahzad
  • Rahmat Shah
  • Asghar Stanikzai
  • Najibullah Zadran
  • Rashid Khan
  • Mujeeb Ur Rahman
  • Dawlat Zadran

Top Pick – Mohammad Nabi




1. William Porterfield, 2. Paul Stirling, 3. Andy Balbinrie, 4. Niall O’Brien, 5. Kevin O’Brien, 6. Ed Joyce / Gary Wilson, 7. Simi Singh, 8. Andy McBrine, 9. Barry McCarthy, 10. Tim Murtagh, 11. Boyd Rankin.


1. Mohammad Shahzad, 2. Gulbadin Naib, 3. Rahmat Shah, 4. Asghar Stanikzai, 5. Samiullah Shenwari / Nasir Jamal, 6. Mohammad Nabi, 7. Najibullah Zadran, 8. Rashid Khan, 9. Sharafuddin Ashraf, 10. Dawlat Zadran, 11. Mujeeb Ur Rahman.




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