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AFG vs IRE: Test match shifted to host school sports championship in UAE

The one-off Test match between Afghanistan and Ireland was scheduled to be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi but the venue was changed a day before the game. The match is now happening at the Tolerance Oval with Afghanistan opting to bat.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Updated on: April 07, 2024 17:04 IST
Image Source : GETTY Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Ireland are touring Afghanistan for all-format series as the two teams are locking horns in the one-off Test, three ODIs and as many T20Is. The Test match got underway today (February 28) at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi becoming the 122nd venue to host a red-ball game at the international level. Interestingly, the venue wasn't even slated to host the Test earlier as Sheikh Zayed Stadium was getting ready for the game.

However, a day before the Test match, the venue was shifted as the Sheikh Zayed Stadium was to host Abu Dhabi Schools Sports Championship from March 1 to March 3. A press release also came out later to confirm the development and must have had the affect on Ireland's team composition as well.

The visitors had earlier picked squad on the assumption that the Abu Dhabi stadium won't take much turn. Moreover the conditions at the Tolerance Oval are mystery to everyone with this being the first Test at the venue.

Afghanistan play only one specialist spinner

Interestingly, Afghanistan have included only one specialist spinner in their playing XI in the form of Zahir Khan with the likes of Nasir Jamal and Rahmat Shah also rolling their arm over. Ireland, on the other hand, have fielded two specialist spinners - Andy McBrine and Theo van Woerkom - and will be hoping that the pitch breaks down earlier than expected. It remains to be seen now if the pitch indeed assists spinners at least in the second innings.

Playing XIs

Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmat Shah, Noor Ali Zadran, Nasir Jamal, Karim Janat, Zia-ur-Rehman, Nijat Masood, Naveed Zadran, Zahir Khan

Ireland: Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Andrew Balbirnie (c), Peter Moor, Curtis Campher, Andy McBrine, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Craig Young, Theo van Woerkom


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