Afghanistan opening batsman Mohammad Shahzad has been in red form recently with the bat and his performances at the top of the order has been one of the main reasons for Afghanistan’s stellar run in T20Is.
During his innings of 72, Shahzad now has 1779 runs in T20Is which is greater than Virat Kohli’s tally in the format. He is now behind Martin Guptill (1806), Tillekratne Dilshan (1889) and Brendon McCullum (2140).
Shahzad was brilliant at the top of the order for Afghnistan as he lashed out at the Irish bowlers who kept putting the ball in the slot for the right-hander. The burly lad brought up his half century one ball after the end of the Powerplay in just 27 balls.
With a string bottom hand grip, Shahzad did not spare any bowlers as he kept carting the ball to all parts of the field. In order to combat this the Ireland bowlers started bowling wide but the strong bottom hand was too good on the day.
His innings included six fours and five sixes and his slash cut through backward point took him past Virat Kohli, a stroke which he will remember for a long time to come. He set the tone for Mohammad Nabi whi came in and belted the bowlers to all parts of the field for his innings of 89 in 30 balls. Afghanistan posted a score of 233 which is the highest ever by an Associate nation.
Nabi then took the centrestage as Afghanistan plundered 104 runs in the final six overs. Barry McCarthy conceded 69 runs in his four overs, which is the most expensive figures in T20Is.
Paul Sterling and Stuart Thompson started off with a bang and Ireland stormed back in the game when tey posted 91 runs in the Powerplay. This was the joint highest total in T20I history.
However, Rashid Khan’s 19th over dealt the killer blow to Ireland as he picked up 3 wickets and eventually the visitors ran out of steam and fell short of the target by 28 runs.
Afghanistan won the series 3-0 and have now won 11 consecutive T20I game which is a world record.