Afghanistan won the second Twenty20 international on Friday to clinch the three-match series 2-0 in Greater Noida stadium in India.
Choosing to bat first after winning the toss, Afghanistan posted 184-8 as they played all the 20 mandated overs.
Afghanistan’s innings crumbled in the beginning as they lost big hitter Mohammad Shahzad in the very first over before losing captain Asghar Stanikzai in the third.
Opener Najeeb Tarakai stayed firmly blasting 90 off 58 balls including five sixes before he was caught in the last over.
The next major contribution came from Mohammad Nabi who made 34 off 15 balls.
In the chase of 185, Ireland were on track as they were 53 for 2 after 6.1 overs when heavy rain put a halt to the play. Ireland were considerably ahead of Afghanistan at that moment.
The match was resumed with the target revised to 111 in 11 overs.
With Ireland needing 43 runs in almost six overs, Afghan bowlers put pressure on Ireland as Karim Janat took Afghanistan’s third wicket, five balls after the play was resumed.
The rain of wickets continued and Rashid Khan claimed five alone to help his side beat Ireland by 17 runs on Duckworth Lewis method. Rashid gave away only three runs in two overs he bowled.
The Man of the Match award was shared between Najeeb Tarakai and Rashid Khan.
“Match was in their hands before the rain. It was difficult to come back, but the coach and skipper told me that we had to do it and I had the confidence that I could do it as well. In the first over, it was difficult to grip the ball, but later on, I got used to it,” Rashid said.
Afghanistan keep record for longest winning streak
If Ireland won the match, Afghanistan’s record winning streak in T20 would be broken. Including the recent match, Afghanistan have won all 10 T20 internationals they have played since March 2016.
The 3rd and final T20 between Afghanistan and Ireland will be played on Sunday before the sides start their five-match ODI series three days later.
(By Ziaulhaq Ateed)