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Ireland Vs Afghanistan 2021 Series Review: Afghanistan Edge Out Paul Stirling’s Brilliance

by Feb 14, 2021Previews and Reviews

Photo of Hamid Hassan and Mohammad Nabi, key player in the Ireland Vs Afghanistan 2021 ODI series

Ireland Vs Afghanistan 2021 Series Review in the UAE.

Ireland’s ODIs against the UAE were enthralling, except 2 ODIs were postponed due to COVID. Then, Afghanistan swept the crucial 3 match ODI series against Ireland. However, the series was closer than the 3-0 score line suggests. The series had various moments: Paul Stirling’s 3 centuries across the 2 series, Curtis Campher’s golden run, Gurbaz’s dream debut, Rashid Khan’s magical deliveries, reliable Rahmat Shah, and Asghar Afghan finishing things off in style.

Keep on reading for our analysis, emerging players, surprise packages, broken cricket dreams, and much more.

Also Read: Eng-Ind Series Preview, Eng-SL Series Review, Ind-Aus Series Review

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.


Ireland Vs United Arab Emirates ODI Series

Ireland Win 2 – 1

  1. U.A.E. won by 6 wickets *Chundangapoyil Rizwan
  4. Ireland won by 112 runs *Simi Singh

* Player of Match

Player of SeriesIreland
Curtis Campher
80 runs, best of 56, 2 wickets
United Arab Emirates
Most RunsPaul Stirling – 135 runs
(best of 131*)
Chundangapoyil Rizwan – 110 runs
(best of 109)
Most WicketsSimi Singh – 5 wicketsAhmed Raza – 3 wickets
Ireland Vs U.A.E. ODI Series Stats

Ireland Vs Afghanistan ODI Series

Afghanistan Win 3-0

  1. Afghanistan win by 16 runs *Rahmanullah Gurbaz
  2. Afghanistan won by 7 wickets *Rahmat Shah
  3. Afghanistan won by 36 runs *Rashid Khan
Player of SeriesIreland
Paul Stirling
Most RunsPaul Stirling – 285 runs
(Best of 128, 2 100s)
Rahmanullah Gurbaz -180 runs
(Best of 127)
Most WicketsAndy McBrine – 6 wicketsNaveen-ul-Haq – 8 wickets
Ireland Vs Afghanistan 2021 ODI Series Stats

The Highlights


  • Paul Stirling is having a stellar season. An aggressive batsman at the start of his career, he has truly transformed into Ireland’s top order main stay. Most ODI runs (576) since April 2020, 4 centuries, average of 82.28, 96 strike rate, and with age on his side (30), Ireland cricket is still in good hands. It’s a shame he did not make it to the final round of IPL 2021 auctions…
  • Curtis Campher, the South African expatriate, has been a revelation since his debut against England. Player of the Series in the UAE Series—this 21 year old is the next big thing of Irish cricket.
  • Kevin O’Brien, the hero of Bangalore and Ireland’s Test debut, is approaching the end of his career at the age of 36. With scores of 23, 2, 1, 0 & only 2 wickets, he really needs a second wind to justify his place against the incoming generation of Irish talent.


  • Although star Rashid Khan won the man of the match in the final game of the series, Afghanistan’s series win was an all-round effort. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Asghar Afghan, and Rahmat Shah contributed with the bat, while Naveen-Ul-Haq & Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman were effective with the ball.
  • Rahmanullah Gurbaz had a stellar debut – 127 runs with 9 blistering sixes. What Campher is to Ireland, Gurbaz is to Afghanistan. At the age of 19, he has a long career ahead of him.
  • Mohammad Nabi is currently going through the Kevin O’Brien crisis. Nabi, the stalwart of Afghanistan cricket, who has been a part of their rise since Division V cricket, needs to reinvent himself. 35 runs (2 innings) and 2 wickets (3 innings) may not be enough for the spinning all-round spot.

United Arab Emirates

  • The UAE probably got the worst of the COVID postponement. Since the UAE are in World Cricket League 2, they have to rank in the top 3 for the 2023 World Cup Qualification. They are currently at 5th and after winning the 1st ODI, at home they would have fancied their chances.
  • An impressive maiden century by Rizwan along with a wonderful partnership with Usman ensured UAE ‘upset’ Ireland in the first ODI.

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

IrelandUnited Arab EmiratesAfghanistan
Emerging PlayerCurtis CampherChundangapoyil RizwanRahmanullah Gurbaz
Surprise PackageSimi SinghMuhammad UsmanNaveen-Ul-Haq
Broken Cricket DreamKevin O’BrienPostponement of ODIsMohammad Nabi

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

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Copyright (2021: 2/13/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X –

Where Do They Go From Here?

Unlike the World Test Championship, the ODI Super League is still a fairly sensible idea. Ireland has already played as many games as England and Australia so far, while Afghanistan rank 4th. With the top 8 automatically qualifying (including India), Ireland are currently at 7th and need to be careful from here on now. Points against UAE and Afghanistan was their best bet. Of course, the sample size is small so far with Sri Lanka, South Africa, Netherlands, and New Zealand yet to play a game in the Super League.

Ireland are scheduled to play South Africa, Netherlands, and Zimbabwe this year, while Afghanistan are bound to play Sri Lanka and Pakistan (according to pre-COVID FTP, so this is bound to change).

A lot more cricket still to come, and we hope that Ireland finally starts reaping its rewards from the 2007 generation, while Afghanistan breaks into the big leagues.

Where do Ireland cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

Image Courtesy: Mohammad Nabi & Hamid Hassan – Afghanistan Press Kit Uploads | Flickr via CC ND 2.0


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