Dehradun (Uttarakhand): A power-packed performance by Hazratullah Zazai led Afghanistan to an easy victory over Ireland in the second T20 International here on Saturday.
Much to the credit of the 20-year-old’s jaw-dropping score of 162 not out in 62 balls, Afghanistan registered a series-sealing 84-run victory over Ireland.
At 162, the left-handed opener has also become the second-highest T20I scorer after Aaron Finch’s 172 against Zimbabwe last year.
The match also witnessed many other records being shattered including Afghanistan making the highest-ever total in T20 Internationals with 278 runs for the loss of three wickets.
Usman Ghani, with 73 runs in 48 balls, also contributed in giving this large target to opponents. Both he and Zazai shared a record 236-run partnership for the format.
Zazai, playing in his fifth T20I, got lucky twice with George Dockrell dropping him in the deep when he was on 72 and Simi Singh spilling a chance to dismiss him on 113.
In the 18th over, the partnership broke with Ghani being caught at long-on by Josh Little.
Batting second, Ireland also made a thumping start with Paul Stirling dispatching the very first delivery of their reply for six before dominating an excellent opening stand of 126 with Kevin O’Brien.
O’Brien, 37 from 25, was later caught at deep cover off a Fareed Ahmad full toss whereas Stirling, 91 over 50 balls was caught off Mujeeb Ur Rahman, nine short of what would have been his first T20I century.
Although Ireland couldn’t win the match, the team registered a highest-ever individual score in the format.
With today’s match, Afghanistan has sealed the T20I series against Ireland 2-0 with a game to spare.