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Positive spin comes from Ireland all-rounder Gareth Delany ahead of Afghanistan clash

Gareth Delany of Ireland appeals for the dismissal of Ibrahim Zadran of Afghanistan during the Men's T20 International match at Stormont in Belfast. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Irish batting all-rounder Gareth Delany credits his improved form with the ball on greater depth of planning and analysis and looks forward to working with new national spin bowling coach Nathan Hauritz.

Delany debuted for Ireland in July 2019 and has played 13 ODIs and 47 T20Is to date. While he has been a part-time spinner for most of his time in Irish colours, improved performances with the ball of late has seen him used as part of a front-line bowling attack in T20Is, and he has taken seven wickets in his last five matches at an average of 19.14 with an economy rate of 7.05 runs per over.

Delany acknowledged disappointment at Ireland losing by 22 runs to Afghanistan ahead of another T20I clash at Stormont this afternoon (3.30pm):

“We’re obviously disappointed having not got over the line the other day, but we knew how tough it was going to be against these guys. Looking back, we probably could have restricted them a little more but with the power and talent in their batting line up it’s going to be very hard to keep them in check like we have the first two games.

“I think we’ve all taken confidence from the fight, though, and the two knocks in particular from George Dockrell and Fionn Hand who never gave up and kept us in the contest to the end. It’s the way we’ve decided we’re going to play and there will be days where the top order don’t fire but they got us over the line fairly comfortably the first two and there’s that belief that guys lower down the order will put in big performances.”

As for his improved performances with the ball, he said:

“Scott Irvine [Performance Analyst] provides us with some good insight into their strengths and weaknesses and then as a spin unit we’ve been having very good discussions in coming up with game plans for each of the opposition players. I’ve also felt that I’ve regained confidence in my bowling which has helped massively too.

“While he hasn’t been with us long so far, it’s been great to have Nathan Hauritz join the squad - he’s settling in very quickly and we’ve had some very insightful chats with him as a spin unit so far. His main message going forward is that he wants us to be more courageous and to take the game forward in the middle overs – to look to take wickets and don’t be too afraid about going for runs.

“It definitely helps having someone like Nathan who’s played to the highest level and has a wealth of information about spin bowling so I think we’re all very excited about getting to work with him and see where things go.”

The remaining fixtures in the series are

Monday 15 August: Ireland v Afghanistan, 4th T20I (Stormont; start time 3.30pm)

Wednesday 17 August: Ireland v Afghanistan, 5th T20I (Stormont; start time 3.30pm).

Ireland: Andrew Balbirnie (Captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker.

Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (Captain), Afsar Zazai, Azmatullah Omarzai, Darwish Rasooli, Farid Ahmad Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Karim Janat, Najibullah Zadran, Naveen ul Haq, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Rashid Khan and Sharafuddin Ashraf.

Tickets are available at: https://www.cricketireland.ie/tickets

In the Republic of Ireland and the UK, matches will be shown live on BT Sport (however this is subject to change and will be notified on Cricket Ireland social media as early as possible).

For the rest of the world, the broadcast details are:

India: FanCode; Sub-Saharan Africa: SuperSport; Caribbean: Flow Sports; MENA: Etisalat; South East Asia: Eleven; US & Canada: Willow.

Livescoring will be available at: https://live.nvplay.com/ireland/#

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