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Ireland Cricket Team

Afghanistan, Ireland
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Afghanistan vs Ireland 2021, 3rd ODI: Fantasy Cricket Tips

On Tuesday (26th January), Afghanistan and Ireland will take on each other in the final match of the three-match ODI series at Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi).

Afghanistan are leading this ODI series by 2-0 as they have already secured this ODI series. While they won the opening game of this series by 16 runs, they managed to win by 7 wickets in the last ODI.

Afghanistan vs Ireland 2021, 3rd ODI: Complete Squads

Afghanistan: Asghar Afghan (C), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Rahmat Shah, Naveen-ul-Haq, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan (vc), Yamin Ahmadzai, Usman Ghani, Azmatullah Omarzai, Gulbadin Naib, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Javed Ahmadi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sharafuddin Ashraf.

Ireland: Andrew Balbirnie (C), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young, Shane Getkate.

Afghanistan vs Ireland 2021, 3rd ODI: Playing XIs

Afghanistan (predicted): Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan (C), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad.

Ireland (predicted): Paul Stirling, James McCollum, Andy Balbirnie (C), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Gareth Delany, Simi Singh, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Craig Young.

Afghanistan vs Ireland 2021, 3rd ODI: Fantasy Cricket Tips

Afghanistan

Afghanistan, Ireland, 3rd ODI, Fantasy, Afghanistan vs Ireland
Image Credit: Twitter

Afghanistan is growing up as a good team. While Rahmanullah Gurbaz made his ODI debut in this series with a superb century, Rahmat Shah hit a century in the second ODI where Hashmatullah Shahidi also played a crucial knock of 82 runs.

Rashid Khan is in good form as an all-rounder. While he scored a crucial game-changing half-century in the first ODI of this series, he took crucial wickets in both the ODIs of this series.

Naveen-ul-Haq has taken 7 wickets while Mujeeb Ur Rahman has got 5 wickets in this ODI series. They are really consistent with the ball.

Ireland

Afghanistan, Ireland, 3rd ODI, Fantasy, Afghanistan vs Ireland
Image Credit: Twitter

Paul Stirling is a great form with the bat. In his last five ODIs, including their last ODI against England in August 2020, Stirling scored three centuries. However, his last two ODI centuries failed to bring positive results for the team.

Curtis Campher is also impressing with his all-round performances. Ireland’s top-order batting is a major concern which needs to improve very quickly. Also, their bowlers need to be consistent.

Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:

Captain – Paul Stirling, Rashid Khan

Vice-captain – Curtis Campher, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Suggested Playing XI for Fantasy Cricket (1):

Wicket-keeper(s) – Rahmanullah Gurbaz (vc), Lorcan Tucker

Batsmen – Hashmatullah Shahidi, Rahmat Shah, Paul Stirling (C)

All-rounder(s) – Mohammad Nabi, Curtis Campher

Bowlers – Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Rashid Khan, Andrew McBrine

Afghanistan, Ireland, 3rd ODI, Fantasy, Afghanistan vs Ireland
Image Credit: Dream11

Suggested Playing XI for Fantasy Cricket (2):

Wicket-keeper(s) – Rahmanullah Gurbaz

Batsmen – Hashmatullah Shahidi, Rahmat Shah, Andrew Balbirnie, Paul Stirling

All-rounder(s) – Curtis Campher (vc), Simi Singh

Bowlers – Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Rashid Khan (C), Andrew McBrine

Afghanistan, Ireland, 3rd ODI, Fantasy, Afghanistan vs Ireland
Image Credit: Dream11
Afghanistan, Rashid Khan, 2019, ODI, World Cup 2019,
Rashid Khan backs his teammates for the best results. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Afghanistan vs Ireland 2021, 1st ODI: Fantasy Cricket Tips

The first ODI of the three-match ODI series between Afghanistan and Ireland will be played on Thursday (21st January) at Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi).

This ODI series will be a part of the 2020–23 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League. While Afghanistan will start their journey in the 2020–23 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League with this ODI, Ireland will play their second ODI series in this competition.

Afghanistan vs Ireland 2021, 1st ODI: Complete Squads

Afghanistan: Asghar Afghan (C), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Rahmat Shah, Naveen ul haq, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan (vc), Yamin Ahmadzai, Usman Ghani, Azmatullah Omarzai, Gulbadin Naib, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Javed Ahmadi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sharafuddin Ashraf.

Ireland: Andrew Balbirnie (C), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young, Shane Getkate.

Afghanistan vs Ireland 2021, 1st ODI: Fantasy Cricket Tips

Afghanistan

Afghanistan, Ireland, Afghanistan vs Ireland, 1st ODI, Fantasy Cricket
Image Credit: Twitter

It will be Afghanistan’s first international match since March 2020. However, recently, some of their cricketers experienced top T20 leagues. Some of these crucial names are Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman,  Najibullah Zadran etc.

Ahead of this crucial upcoming ODI series, Afghanistan and Ireland played an unofficial One-day match on 16th January at Abu Dhabi. Afghanistan won that match by 23 runs. While Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Najibullah Zadran scored half-centuries in that game, Sayed Shirzad and Sharafuddin Ashraf took three wickets each.

Ireland

Afghanistan, Ireland, Afghanistan vs Ireland, 1st ODI, Fantasy Cricket
Image Credit: Twitter

Ireland recently played the ODI series against the hosts UAE in this ongoing tour. Paul Stirling scored a century and Andrew Balbirnie scored a half-century in the first game. Curtis Campher also played some crucial all-round roles in that first game, but UAE ultimately beat them.

However, in the last ODI, when Irish batsmen were struggling, Harry Tector and wicket-keeper batsman Lorcan Tucker showed some strong character to control the innings and later Curtis Campher and Simi Singh scored crcuial half-centuries. Then Player of the Match Simi Singh secured their 112 runs victory by claiming his maiden ODI five-wicket haul. Campher won the Player of the Series award at the end of that series.

Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:

Captain – Paul Stirling, Rashid Khan

Vice-captain – Mohammad Nabi, Curtis Campher, Simi Singh

Suggested Playing XI for Fantasy Cricket (1):

Wicket-keeper(s) – Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Lorcan Tucker

Batsmen – Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Asghar Afghan, Andrew Balbirnie, Paul Stirling (C)

All-rounder(s) – Mohammad Nabi (vc)

Bowlers – Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rashid Khan, Barry McCarthy

Afghanistan, Ireland, Afghanistan vs Ireland, 1st ODI, Fantasy Cricket
Image Credit: Dream11

Suggested Playing XI for Fantasy Cricket (2):

Wicket-keeper(s) – Rahmanullah Gurbaz

Batsmen – Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Andrew Balbirnie, Paul Stirling

All-rounder(s) – Mohammad Nabi, Curtis Campher (vc), Simi Singh

Bowlers – Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rashid Khan (C), Craig Young

Afghanistan, Ireland, Afghanistan vs Ireland, 1st ODI, Fantasy Cricket
Image Credit: Dream11
England, Ireland
Image Credit: ICC
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England Vs Ireland 2020, 1st ODI: ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League Starts With England’s Comfortable Victory

The inaugural ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League starts with a comfortable victory by the latest World Cup winners England. In the opening game of the three-match home ODI series against Ireland at Southampton on Thursday (30th July), England registered a six-wicket victory with 133 balls left. With this victory, England have not only taken the 1-0 lead in this ODI series but also opened up their account in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League points table with 10 points.

After England decided to field first, Ireland were bundled out for just 172 runs in 44.4 overs. In reply, the hosts struggled in the beginning but reached the target in 27.5 overs after losing four wickets.

While the English left-arm pacer David Willey shined in the first innings, the right-handed middle-order batsman Sam Billings played the crucial role to chase that target comfortably. Meanwhile, the Irish debutant Curtis Campher was the standout performer for his side but he didn’t get enough support from his teammates.

England innings: Struggling on 78/4; Sam Billings and skipper Eoin Morgan rescued the hosts

Chasing down the target, England top-order batsmen failed to provide a strong start as it opened up a nervous moment in the hosts’ innings. In the very first over of the second innings, Ireland got a major blow as the right-arm pacer Barry McCarthy left the ground due to hamstring-like issue as he managed to deliver only five balls.

Opener Jonny Bairstow (2) was dismissed in the third over by the off-spinner Andy McBrine after the visitors successfully used the DRS on an lbw appeal. After scoring 24 runs, another English opener Jason Roy lost his wicket as this time the pacer Craig Young trapped him lbw.

James Vince strongly started his innings and scored 25 runs off 21 balls (5 fours), but just before the end of the first powerplay, he was caught behind as Young added another wicket in his account.

On his fourth ball, Irish debutant Curtis Campher dismissed Tom Banton for just 11 runs. At that stage, the hosts were struggling on 78/4.

However, the two middle-order batsmen, Sam Billings and the skipper Eoin Morgan then controlled that innings and slowly made the chasing comfortable for the side. They set up the 96 runs partnership for the unbroken fifth wicket that helped the English team to chase down the target inside the 30 overs.

Sam Billings, England, World Cup Super League
Sam Billings and Eoin Morgan (Image Credit: ICC Twitter)

Billings completed his third ODI fifty in 41 balls and remained not out on 67 runs off 54 balls (11 fours). Meanwhile, Morgan finished the game with a sixer as he was not out on 36 runs off 40 balls.

Ireland innings: David Willey registered his maiden ODI five-wicket haul, but debutant Curtis Campher scored a fifty

Earlier, England pacer David Willey provided a strong start for the hosts as Ireland were five-down for just 28 runs in the 7th over. Apart from the opener Gareth Delany (22), all other four Irish batsmen lost their wickets in the single-digits, including two ducks. Another Irish ODI debutant Harry Tector scored a nine-ball duck in that period. Out of those first five wickets, the left-arm English pacer Willey bagged four wickets.

David Willey, England, World Cup Super League
England pacer David Willey (Image Credit: ICC Twitter)

Then Kevin O’Brien and debutant Curtis Campher built up the 51 runs partnership for the sixth wicket. After scoring 22 runs, Kevin lost his wicket, while Simi Singh (0) also followed him soon after a dreadful run-out. At that stage, the visitors were battling on 79/7.

However, the debutant Campher didn’t lose his hope, rather than, he built up a strong eighth-wicket partnership of 66 runs with Andy McBrine. Campher brilliantly completed a half-century on his ODI debut in 103 balls. But soon after his 50 runs, McBrine lost his wicket on 40 runs. Barry McCarthy (3) and Craig Young (11) built up the little partnerships at the end while Campher remained not out on 59 runs off 118 balls (4 fours).

Curtis Campher, Ireland, World Cup Super League
Curtis Campher (Image Credit: Reuters)

On the other hand, Willey claimed his first ODI five-wicket haul after dismissing the last Irish batsman Young. The Player of the Match award winner Willey had the bowling figures of 8.4-2-30-5. Also, Saqib Mahmood (2/36) bagged two wickets while Adil Rashid (1/26) and Tom Curran (1/37) picked up one wicket each.

Image Credit: Getty Images
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Top 5 Incidents Where A Giant Team Surrendered To A Small Team In An ODI

Cricket is always an unpredictable game. Meanwhile, in ODI history, which is around 50-year-old, we have already experienced some stunning and special matches where a giant team surprisingly failed to beat an inexperienced side.

Talking about a giant team’s failure to beat a small team in an ODI match, we can even get enough great examples from the Cricket World Cup history.

Here we are talking about the top five incidents where a giant team surrendered to a small team in an ODI match.

Zimbabwe vs England in 1992 Cricket World Cup

team, giant team, ODI, incidents where a giant team surrendered to a small team in an ODI match
Image Credit: Twitter

It was the League Stage game between Zimbabwe and England in the 1992 Cricket World Cup at Albury on 18th March 1992. After England sent the Zimbabwean side to bat first, they bowled out the Zimbabwe team for only 134 runs in 46.1 overs. Only captain Dave Houghton (29) and Iain Butchart (24) managed to score 20+ runs in that innings. Among the English bowlers, Ian Botham (3/23) and Richard Illingworth (3/33) both picked up three wickets each.

However, the Zimbabwean bowlers stunned everyone by destroying the England batting line-up as the top ODI team were bundled out for just 125 runs (49.1 overs). Zimbabwean right-arm pacer Eddo Brandes was the star in the second innings with the impressive bowling figures of 10-4-21-4. On the other hand, only the wicketkeeper-batsman Alec Stewart (29) and Neil Fairbrother (20) managed to score 20 or more runs in that innings.

While Zimbabwe won that match by just nine runs, it was only their second ODI victory.

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England Is Hopeful To Host Australia, Pakistan And Ireland This Summer After West Indies Series

While the coronavirus is still dominating the world, England is getting ready to start their new cricket season safely. The Caribbean team is ready to travel in England for the upcoming three-match Test series. Meanwhile, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is now focusing on hosting Australia, Pakistan and Ireland this summer, which will help to maintain their home FTP schedule.

If the UK government provides the necessary clearances, the West Indies team will reach in England on 9th June, and they will play the three-match Test series against the hosts from 8th to 28th July 2020.

England, ECB
Image Credits: Twitter

ECB’s director of special projects, Steve Elworthy told Sky Sports Cricket Podcast’s The Cricket Show, “It’s an incredibly challenging but, at the same time, a very rewarding project. What we are trying to achieve here is something that has never been done before.”

In the England tour, Pakistan will play Test and T20I series, Australia and Ireland will play limited-overs series

According to the FTP schedule, England will also host Australia, Pakistan and Ireland this summer. Australia will play the three-match ODI and three-match T20I series in this tour, while Ireland will play three ODIs and Pakistan have the plan to play three-match Test series and three-match T20I series.

England, ECB, Australia
England vs Australia (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

While the Test series against West Indies and Pakistan are the part of the 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship, the ODI series against Australia and Ireland are the part of the 2020–22 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.

The ECB is still hopeful to host all the teams in the ongoing summer. Though they are regularly in touch with West Indies, Australia, Pakistan and Ireland, their present priority is the Caribbean side.

Elworthy said, “There has been a huge amount of work done. The West Indies are the first team to arrive here but, at the same time, we hope to have Australia, Pakistan and Ireland come this summer.

England, ECB, Australia, Pakistan, Ireland
England cricket team (Image Credit: Twitter)

“We have been speaking to them, we’ve been in weekly communication with all of them but, in this particular case, more extensively with the West Indies because their Test matches are about five weeks away.”

Talking about the upcoming West Indies tour of England, the Cricket West Indies (CWI) has already announced a 14-member squad and an 11-member reserve squad. Darren Bravo, Keemo Paul and Shimron Hetmyer have refused to travel in England for the forthcoming Test series, and the team will miss them.

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New Zealand, Pakistan Cricket Tours Of Scotland And Ireland Have Been Postponed

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic, Cricket Ireland have postponed their home international series against New Zealand and Pakistan in this season. Meanwhile, Cricket Scotland have also postponed their home international series against New Zealand.

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the FTP schedule of international cricket. It has already postponed many international cricket matches along with other cricket events. Now, the New Zealand tours of Ireland and Scotland have been postponed along with Pakistan tour of Ireland.

New Zealand
New Zealand cricketer (Image Credit: Twitter)

New Zealand had the plans to play limited-overs international matches in Ireland and Scotland

According to the FTP schedule, Ireland would play the three-match ODI and three-match T20I series against New Zealand in June. The ODI series is the part of the 2020–22 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.

Ireland
Ireland cricket team (Image Credit: Twitter)

Before that Ireland tour, New Zealand also had the plan to tour in Scotland for the only ODI and only T20I matches in early June. Both these tours have been postponed amid coronavirus outbreak.

Scotland
Scotland national cricket team (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Pakistan would also tour in Ireland

After the home series against New Zealand, Ireland also had the plan to play two-match home T20I series against Pakistan in July. While Pakistan’s recent tour in the Netherlands has already been postponed (three-match ODI series which was a part of the 2020–22 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League), now their Ireland tour has also been postponed.

Pakistan
Pakistan national cricket team (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Ireland would originally start their 2020 home international season with the limited-overs series against Bangladesh in the ongoing month. Apart from playing three ODIs against the visitors (part of the 2020–22 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League), they had also the plans to play four T20Is against Bangladesh in England. However, that tour has also been postponed due to the same reason.

Cricket Ireland is also busy to decide the fate of their tour in England in September for the three-match ODI series against the hosts (10th-15th September 2020). This ODI series is also the part of the 2020–22 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. According to the speculation, this upcoming series also can be rescheduled.

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Irish Pacer Tim Murtagh Retires From International Cricket

Just sometimes ago, the 38-year-old Ireland pacer Tim Murtagh hinted his international retirement to extend his English county cricket career. On Friday (29th November), he has officially announced his retirement from international cricket.

Tim Murtagh made his international cricket debut in June 2012. Since then, he played three Tests, 58 ODIs and 14 T20Is where he took 13, 74 and 12 wickets respectively. In overall, the right-arm pacer finished his international career with the exact 100 wickets in 75 matches.

Tim Murtagh, retirement
Tim Murtagh finished his international career with 100 wickets (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Murtagh played his last T20I in March 2016 during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Meanwhile, he played his last ODI against Zimbabwe last July. However, his last international game was the historic Lord’s Test against England in late July 2019.

However, Tim Murtagh will continue his county cricket stint for Middlesex. He has signed a two-year contract which will continue till the end of the 2021 season.

Tim Murtagh, retirement
Tim Murtagh (Image Credit: Google)

Murtagh said during his international retirement announcement, “This is a day that I have known has been coming for a few years since the ECB changed their regulations, but it hasn’t made the decision any easier. I’ve had eight great years playing international cricket and loved every minute of it. It’s sad that it has come to an end but a decision that I have made my peace with.”

The 38-year-old Irish cricketer thanked everyone

Tim Murtagh thanked his wife, entire family members, and all the team members of his national team and Middlesex side.

Tim Murtagh, retirement
Tim Murtagh (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

He added, “There are many people to thank for helping me on this journey. Firstly, my amazing wife Karina and the whole family who have endured many weeks/months of me away on tour living the dream. All the management and players from Cricket Ireland who have made me feel so welcome from ‘ball one’. Also, the management at Middlesex Cricket for encouraging me to play at as high a level as I could.”

A Test Match at Lord’s against England is a great way to finish my international career – Tim Murtagh

Tim Murtagh had the memorable experience in his last international match. During the Lord’s Test against England, his five-wicket haul bundled out the experienced England side for just 85 runs in the first innings. He had the bowling figures of 9-2-13-5 and till the date, it is the only Test five-wicket haul for an Ireland bowler.

Tim Murtagh, retirement
Tim Murtagh (Image Credit: Google)

Though Ireland lost that historic Lord’s Test by 143 runs, they ended that Test match with the high head.

Tim Murtagh has admitted that it was a great way to finish his career as he took a total of six wickets in that Lord’s Test.

He said, “A Test Match at Lord’s against England is a great way to finish my international career and a game I will always cherish. I wish the lads all the best for the winter tours and very much hope to help out and be involved in some capacity in the future.

“Finally, thank you for the support from everyone over in Ireland, both north and south of the border. Very much appreciated and I will be over to see everyone soon.”

William Porterfield, Ireland
William Porterfield (Image Credit: Google)
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Long-time Ireland Captain William Porterfield Steps Down From Captaincy, Andy Balbirnie Is New Test And ODI Captain

The long-time Irish captain William Porterfield has stepped down from the international captaincy on Friday (8th November). The 28-year-old Andy Balbirnie has been appointed as the new Test and ODI captain of Ireland team.

William Porterfield, the 35-year-old Ireland cricketer led the Ireland cricket team in 172 international matches from 2008 to 2019. Under his leadership, Ireland played 113 ODIs, 56 T20Is and all their three Tests. During his leadership tenure, Ireland won To ODIs and 26 T20Is.

William Porterfield
William Porterfield (Image Credit: Google)

Under William Porterfield’s leadership, Ireland played two ICC Cricket World Cups (2011 and 2015) and five ICC World T20s (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016).

In 2018, Gary Wilson replaced William Porterfield in T20I captaincy. Last time, Porterfield led the Irish T20I side in March 2017.

Long-time Ireland Captain William Porterfield Steps Down From Captaincy, Andy Balbirnie Is New Test And ODI Captain 1
Gary Wilson (Image Credit: Google)

William Porterfield is ready to help the new captain

Since 2018, the senior cricketer is focusing mainly in Test and ODI cricket. Now, he has stepped down from the entire international captaincy. However, Porterfield is continuing his international cricket career. He is now ready to help and support the new captain in this transition period.

William Porterfield, Ireland
William Porterfield (Image Credit: Google)

Porterfield said in the Cricket Ireland website, “It has been an incredible journey, and a fantastic honour to have captained my country over the past 11 and a half years. There have been many highs, along with a few lows along the way, but I can honestly say that it has been thoroughly enjoyable. To have been able to lead Ireland out at various World Cups, through to our first Test against Pakistan, and again at Lord’s in the summer, have been but a few of these highlights. I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have done so.

“I feel, and in consultation with Cricket Ireland, that now is the right time to hand over that mantle. With the ODI league starting in the summer it will allow Balbo time to get into the swing of things. I feel that the selectors have made a great choice in appointing Balbo and that it has come at a great time for him personally being on top of his game, and with more to come. Having spoken to him, I know how honoured and excited he is to get going. I’m looking forward to helping and supporting Balbo in any way I can, and seeing him lead Ireland forward.

“The one thing that I will not miss, though, is knocking on someone’s hotel door to tell them they will not be playing!”

William Porterfield made his international cricket debut in August 2006. Till the date, Porterfield has played three Tests, 136 ODIs and 61 T20Is.

Andy Balbirnie is excited to take up the new role

Now, Andy Balbirnie will handle the Test and ODI captaincies of Ireland cricket team. The 28-year-old Balbirnie has played three Tests, 64 ODIs and 37 T20Is since his international debut in July 2010. However, Balbirnie has no past experience in international captaincy.

Andy Balbirnie
Andy Balbirnie (Image Credit: Google)

Andy Balbirnie is feeling a great honour to taking up these big roles – Test and ODI captaincies. The top-order batsman is very excited to start his journey.

Balbirnie said, “To be asked to captain my country is an absolute honour and one that I am very excited about as we move into a busy new year. It’s a proud moment not just for me but also for my family and everyone who has been there on my cricket journey so far – especially my coaches, teammates and friends at Pembroke Cricket Club.”

The next year (2020) is going to be a very busy year for Ireland. Andy Balbirnie will start his journey as an Ireland captain during their tour of West Indies in early January 2020. Then, Ireland will tour in India to play against Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

Ireland
Ireland cricket team (Image Credit: Google)

Since May 2020, Ireland will be busy in the crucial home season. From May 2020, Ireland will participate in the inaugural edition of ICC Cricket World Cup Super League (2020-22).

Kevin O'Brien, T20I
Kevin O'Brien (Image Credit: ICC)
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Kevin O’Brien Creates Record In Most T20I Sixes In A Calendar Year

The 35-year-old Ireland cricketer Kevin O’Brien put his name on the top of one T20I record book last Saturday (2nd November) during the third-place play-off of 2019 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier against Namibia.

It was the low-scoring encounter which Ireland won by 27 runs. After winning the toss, Ireland decided to bat first and Paul Stirling came to open that innings along with Kevin O’Brien.

Kevin O’Brien has hit 36 T20I sixes in 2019

In the third over of that innings, Kevin hit a sixer and created a new history. It was the 36th T20I sixer in 2019 for the right-handed Irish batsman, Kevin O’Brien. With that sixer, Kevin broke the previous record of 35 T20I sixes by Colin Munro (New Zealand) in 2018.

Kevin O'Brien, T20I
Kevin O’Brien (Image Credit: ICC)

During the Group Stage of the ongoing tournament, Kevin O’Brien equalled the record of Colin Munro. On last Saturday, he surpassed that record.

Kevin O'Brien, T20I
Colin Munro (Image Credit: Google)

Players with most T20I sixes in a calendar year

Player (Team) Number of T20I sixes in a year Year
Kevin O’Brien (Ireland) 36 2019
Colin Munro (New Zealand) 35 2018
George Munsey (Scotland) 34 2019
Evin Lewis (Windies) 31 2017
Aaron Finch (Australia) 31 2018
Rohit Sharma (India) 31 2018

However, Kevin only scored 17 runs off 14 balls in this match against Namibia. Only the opener Paul Stirling and the no.3 batsman Andy Balbirnie crossed the 20-run mark in that innings. While Stirling scored 25 runs, Balbirnie played the crucial knock of 46 runs. Ireland were all out on 135 runs in 19.1 overs.

Among the Namibia bowlers, JJ Smit (3/19) and Craig Williams (3/34) both got three wickets.

Namibia scored 108 runs

In reply, Namibia were bundled out for just 108 runs (18.2 overs). While the captain Gerhard Erasmus scored 51 runs off 34 balls, Stephan Baard (17) and JJ Smit (10) were the only other players to reach the double-digit scores in that innings.

Kevin O'Brien, T20I
Ireland vs Namibia (Image Credit: Google)

The Irish off-spinner Simi Singh played a major role in that innings. He scalped three wickets as his bowling figures were 4-0-25-3. Also, Mark Adair (2/9), Gareth Delany (2/23) and Boyd Rankin (2/17) all picked up two wickets each. Shane Getkate took the other wicket in that innings.

Paul Stirling, T20I run-scorer
Paul Stirling (Image Credit: Google)
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Paul Stirling Creates World Record After Breaking The Record Of Shikhar Dhawan

Irish opener Paul Stirling recently broke the world-record after becoming the most T20I run-scorer in a calendar year. To achieve this record, Stirling broke the record of Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan.

Ireland are currently busy in the 2019 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier. At the end of the Group Stage, Ireland managed the top position of the Group B points table. As they have directly qualified for the semifinals of this tournament, Ireland have also booked their ticket for the first round of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020.

Ireland played their last group stage game of the ongoing tournament on last Saturday (29th October) against Nigeria. While Ireland thrashed Nigeria, Paul Stirling created a world record.

Paul Stirling has scored 694 T20I runs

Chasing down the 67 runs target, Stirling scored 11 runs and broke Shikhar Dhawan’s record – most T20I runs in a calendar year. Indian left-handed opening batsman Dhawan scored 689 T20I runs in 2018. After that T20I match against Nigeria, Stirling has scored 694 T20I runs in this calendar year (2019).

Paul Stirling, T20I run-scorer
Paul Stirling (Image Credit: Google)

Meanwhile, another Irish T20I opener Kevin O’Brien is also chasing this record. In the same game, Kevin broke Dhawan’s record and has scored 690 T20I runs in 2019. The right-handed batsman scored 32 runs in that T20I against Nigeria.

Top five most T20I run-scorers in a calendar year

Player (Team) Runs scored Year
Paul Stirling (Ireland) 694 2019
Kevin O’Brien (Ireland) 690 2019
Shikhar Dhawan (India) 689 2018
Max O’Dowd (Netherlands) 669 2019
Virat Kohli (India) 641 2016

Coming to the Qualifier tournament, two group champions, Papua New Guinea and Ireland have qualified for the first round of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 after directly reaching the semifinals of the Qualifier tournament.

Meanwhile, Group A teams the Netherlands, Namibia and Scotland are fighting for the qualification of T20 World Cup 2020. On the other hand, Group B teams Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong are fighting for the qualification of the next T20 World Cup. All of them are ready to face the playoffs.

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