Afghanistan started their T20I trip to Ireland on a winning note at Bready Cricket Club, Northern Ireland. However, due to the rain halts, the match got reduced to 18 overs only.
A flier for Afghanistan
While batting first, Afghanistan put a total of 160 for the loss of seven wickets. The opening batsman, Mohammad Shahzad alongside Hazratullah Zazai itched 87 runs inside eight overs for the first wicket.
Hazratullah Zazai was the first man to depart, as he fell the prey of Simi Singh after scoring 74 off 33 balls. His quickfire knock included eight fours and six gigantic sixes.
Later, the Afghan team continued their hot form, as they added 32 runs for the second wicket partnership. Mohammad Shahzad once again struggled while running between the wickets and eventually fell victim to it. Shahzad scored 29 off 21 with the help of two fours and the equal number of sixes.
The skipper of Afghanistan, Asghar Stanikzai found himself among to run-getters. He was the third wicket to fall and scored 31 runs. Soon after his departure, Afghanistan lost the plot. From 151 for three to 159 for seven, Afghanistan lost their five wickets for eight runs.
The tale of Irish chase
Ireland, on the other hand, lost the opener Stuart Thompson on five. A few overs later, they lost two more wickets, and the pressure was back on the hosts. Apart from the skipper, Gary Wilson who scored 34, Ireland did not find many saviours. The other run-getters were Paul Stirling with 27 and George Dockrell with 22.
Ireland lost the game by 22 runs and Afghanistan lead in the three-matches series by 1-0.
Afghanistan 160/7 (18 overs)
Hazratullah Zazai 74, Asghar Afghan 31
Joshua Little 2/20, Tyrone Kane 2/50
Ireland 144/9 (18 overs)
Gary Wilson 34, Paul Stirling 27
Rashid Khan 4/35, Mujeeb Ur Rehman 2/14