Ireland will have to defeat Afghanistan by a margin of 4-1 or better in the upcoming five-game series if it hopes to overtake its Asian rival in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings.
Afghanistan, which recently beat Scotland 1-0 in a two-game ODI series, is placed 10th in the team rankings at 51 points with Ireland last in the 12-team list at 41 points.
A 4-1 win for Ireland in the series starting Sunday will lift it to 51 points with Afghanistan slipping down to 44 points to take the last place.
A 3-2 win for Ireland will reduce the gap to three points with Afghanistan ahead on 48 and Ireland on 45.
A win by any margin will keep Afghanistan ahead but not threaten ninth-placed Pakistan, which has 87 points. Zimbabwe will remain sandwiched between Afghanistan and Ireland at 11th in any of these scenarios with its tally of 46 points.
World champion Australia is at the top of the table with 123 points, New Zealand second at 113 while India and South Africa are both at 110 with India ahead on decimal points.
Even though both Afghanistan and Scotland have ODI status, the results of the Afghanistan-Scotland series do not impact the main team rankings as only matches between the top 12 teams are considered for it. However, individual performances are taken into account for the players rankings.
Scotland is top-ranked among four Associate teams with ODI status who are rated separately, with the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea completing that list.