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Stage set for first Afghanistan-Ireland T20

Afghanistan are all poised to take on Ireland in the first T20 match, sponsored by the Islamic Bank of Afghanistan, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun on Thursday.

The newest Test nations, the two sides are to play three T20 Internationals, five ODIs and a solitary Test in the series hosted by Afghanistan, foreign media reports say.

Afghan skipper Asghar Afghan, whose boys have been training in India for the last one month, views the series as an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming World Cup.

Afghanistan will rely on their aces like Rashid Khan, Mujeebur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi, Ireland are look to captain Paul Stirling, fast bowler Boyd Rankin and Stuart Poynter.

Stirling sees Afghanistan as a strong squad, with an impressive T20 track record. Ahead of the match, the Irish skipper said: “We’ve played them a lot over the last few years, so hopefully we can go out there with a positive mindset. “

Stirling was quoted as saying: “At the end of the day they’ve still got to perform as well, and I think if we play the ball and not the player in this competition, we’ll go a lot better.”

He called spinner Rashid Khan the main difference between the two sides in the recent outings.

Afghanistan v Ireland series (in India)

21 February     1st T20 International

23 February     2nd T20 International

24 February     3rd T20 International

28 February     1st ODI

2 March   2nd ODI

5 March   3rd ODI

8 March   4th ODI

10 March 5th ODI

15-19 March    Test match

Pajhwok News Agency

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