Mohammad Shahzad
Can Mohammad Shahzad maintain his consistency in the fourth ODI against Ireland? Pictured: Batsman Mohammad Shahzad in action during a WT20 match between South Africa and Afghanistan at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.IANS

After the first ODI match between Ireland and Afghanistan was abandoned without a ball being bowled, the last two matches have been brilliant, with the five-match series tied at 1-1.

Afghanistan and Ireland won the second and third ODIs respectively, and both teams will be keen to take lead as they prepare to face one another in the fourth match at Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast on Sunday.

Both the matches have produced some good individual performances, with Ed Joyce scoring a century to help Ireland win. While for Afghanistan, Mohammad Shahzad has been dangerous at the top of the order, scoring back-to-back centuries.

Though the two teams will look for these batsmen to continue with their impressive performance in the fourth ODI, other players in their respective camps need to shoulder responsibility. There is no dearth of talent in both the teams, with the likes of Mohammad Nabi, Rahmat Shah (Afghanistan), William Poterfield, Paul Stirling (Ireland) in their ranks.

Afghanistan bowlers need to bowl tight to Joyce, who is a dangerous player once he gets his eye in. They need to dismiss him early. Dawlat Zardan and Mohammad Nabi need to make good work of the new ball early on, and make life tough for the Ireland batsman. Though Joyce has looked good, his opening partner, and skipper, Poterfield is due for a big score. Will it be his day in the fourth ODI?

Afghanistan batsmen have got decent starts, but have not be able to replicate that into big scores, which is a concern. A batsman like Shah, who scored 14 and 16 runs in the last two matches, needs to play an important role if Afghanistan are to emerge victorious in the fourth ODI. Afghanistan cannot depend on Shahzad alone.

The match has all the ingredients of an entertaining encounter, and the team that performs consistently for 50 overs, with both the bat and ball, will have a greater chance of taking the all-important 2-1 lead.

Where to watch live"

The fourth ODI Ireland vs Afghanistan is scheduled to start from 10:45 a.m. local time (3:15 pm IST, 5:45 am EST) start. Unfortunately, there will be no live TV coverage of this match in India.

No channels will broadcast Ireland vs Afghanistan 1st ODI in UK as well.

Afghan TV will telecast the game live in Afghanistan. For the live streaming option click Afghan Play.

For live updates, go to Cricket Ireland's website.