Ireland plays Afghanistan in the first T20 International on August 9 at Stormont in Belfast from 8:00 PM Indian Standard Time (IST).

The Ireland cricket team has been struggling in T20Is in recent times. They recently lost 2-0 to South Africa. Lorcan Tucker was the leading run-scorer with 78 runs for Ireland while Gareth Delany picked four wickets with the ball. The Irish side had earlier lost to New Zealand 3-0 in a T20I series prior to playing South Africa. 

The Afghanistan cricket team beat Zimbabwe by 3-0 in a T20I series in June this year. Najibullah Zadran scored 103 runs in the series for Afghanistan while Noor Ahmed picked four wickets with the ball. The Afghans had earlier tied the two-match T20I series against Bangladesh at 1-1.

Ireland vs Afghanistan 1st T20I odds

Parimatch odds: Ireland: 2.75, Afghanistan: 1.45

Betwinner odds: Ireland: 2.76, Afghanistan: 1.448

Bet365 odds: Ireland: 2.75, Afghanistan: 1.44

 MELBET odds: Ireland: 2.76, Afghanistan: 1.448

Note: Odds are subject to change. Please visit betting sites to check and confirm the latest odds.

Ireland vs Afghanistan head-to-head in T20Is

Ireland has won four while Afghanistan has won 14 out of their 18 matches in this format so far.

Afghanistan beat Ireland 2-0 in their previous T20 series in 2020.

Ireland vs Afghanistan 1st T20I probable playing XI

Ireland: Andy Balbirnie (captain), Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker (wicket-keeper), Gareth Delany, G.Dockrell, Fionn Hand, Andy McBrine, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Josh Little. 

Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (captain), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, Afsar Zazai, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wicket-keeper), Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Naveen ul Haq, Noor Ahmad, Fareed Ahmed.

Ireland vs Afghanistan 1st T20I top picks

Ireland: Watch out for Paul Stirling in this encounter. Stirling has scored 2,940 runs in 109 T20 internationals at an average of 29.40. The 31-year-old batter also scored 20 half-centuries and one century in the shortest format. Stirling has also picked 20 wickets in T20Is at an economy of 7.46 and has an average of 33.95 with the ball.

Afghanistan: Rashid Khan will be the top pick from the Afghan side. The Leg-spinner has picked 109 wickets in 61 T20Is at an economy of 6.12. Khan has an average of 13.00 with the ball and a strike rate of 12.7 in the shortest format.

Ireland vs Afghanistan 1st T20I prediction

Afghanistan are clear favourites going into the game against Ireland. The Afghans have a better head-to-head record against the hosts

Ireland will go into the game as underdogs and will face an uphill task against a strong Afghanistan side.

Ireland vs Afghanistan 1st T20I playing conditions and weather report

Maximum Temperature: 21°C

Precipitation: 100%

Humidity: 94%

Wind: 20 km/h