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Ireland shake-up on cards for final T20 clash, says skipper

 

By Ian Callender

Twenty20 captain Gary Wilson hinted that Ireland could experiment in the final game of the series against Afghanistan in Bready today (4pm) as they look for a consolation victory.

Ireland were bowled out for 79, their fourth lowest total in T20 internationals, on Wednesday, just eight weeks after being dismissed for 70 by India. Worryingly, both games were in the second match of the series, so no lessons were learnt from the more encouraging opening encounters.

“Neither total is excusable,” said Wilson. “We had two people who got double figures, the next best batsman was Boyd Rankin! We could have knocked it around and got to 110 and the result doesn’t look as bad but what’s the point? There’s no learning in that. It is Twenty20 and whenever you are chasing 10 an over there is always the possibility of being bowled out for a low score.

“Monday(’s game) showed we can beat them if we play a more sensible game than we did on Wednesday, take better options. We looked a bit clouded in the second game and there needs to be more clarity. We have to have a chat about that as a batting group as well and it might be time to experiment with a couple of things (today),” said Wilson.

That could mean Kevin O’Brien being promoted to opener, although James Shannon is expected to be fit to return and he scored 60, at No 2, against India in June but because of a shoulder injury has missed the first two games this week.

If he does play, however, he will be facing Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Zadran for the first time and Wilson admitted that is difficult.

“It’s hard playing mystery spin but we have to be better. Whenever you are three down in the powerplay and needing to go at 10 an over and Rashid Khan hasn’t bowled yet, it’s very difficult,” he said.

Meanwhile the Ireland Academy continued their impressive form in London with a six wickets victory over Scotland Academy in a game reduced to 40 overs. Jack Tector hit 52 as the Irish reached their target of 167 in 25.4 overs, after JJ Garth and Gareth Delany had shared seven wickets.

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