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Rashid, Nabi heroics whitewash Ireland in T20 series

Afghanistan's unbeaten run continues after an impressive match against Ireland (Photo: Zeerak Fahim)
by Sayer Zaland, ASJF President

KABUL, March 13, 2017 - A slow, short delivery outside off by M. Nabi caught out Dockrell and slog-swept the ball into the hands of deep midwicket as Afghanistan's impressive run continues to chug along with 11 unbeaten matches now in the world.

Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai lost the toss and was forced by Irish captain William Porterfield to bat first in the 3rd T20 international of General petroleum series at Greater Noida cricket stadium on 12th March.

Master blaster MS. Shahzad was on top gear from the start of the first innings and made 15 runs from the first over of BJ McCarthy who was wicketless in the 3rd T20 against Afghan batsmen.

Shahzad was the top scorer until the world No2 all-rounder M. Nabi came to the party and entertained the stadium, making a last ball run out 89 from just 31 balls, including 9 maximums and six boundaries with a strike rate of 296.66. While MS. Shazad made 72 of 43 balls and bring up the highest T20 total of 233 for Afghanistan for the first time.

Ireland’s KJ O'Brien was the highest wicket taker taking four wickets for 45 runs in four overs, while Irish leg spinner J Mulder took two wickets for 32 runs.

A spirited fight is what Ireland have almost always provided. There was no different in the second innings where the Irish batsmen scored quickly. They showed spark and scrap to get past 200, but in the end, they had conceded just too many. Afghanistan, in truth, were appalling in the Power play, but fought back nicely thereafter to whitewash Ireland 3-0 in the T20 series.

Googly master 18 years old Rashid Khan Arman again scrambled the will mad innings by Irish openers, got 3 wickets in his last over of spill and 19th over of the innings, meanwhile M. Nabi toke the last wicket and sealed the series 3-0 against Ireland.

Rashid Khan Named Man of the general petroleum T20 series by claiming 9 wickets including best bowling 5 wickets for 3 runs in the 2nd T20, Mohammad Nabi was the Man of the Match for the 3rd match for a knock of 89 runs a last wicket and couple of catches in the meddle.

Irish captain William Porterfield said in the presentation ceremony that anytime over 200 in both innings, and gave credit to the ground staff. “They've come hard at us and deserved the win. As much as you want to set it up in the first six, you have to finish it in the last," Porterfield said further

Afghan Captain Asghar Stanikzai said they were confident that even the Irish batsmen stared well, but according to Afghanistan bowling attack, it was a huge total on this surface. “We thought 180-plus was good enough. We knew our strengths, in the end we have good spinners," he said.

With the wining of the last match of GPS Afghanistan’s consistency and dominance is evident from its winning streak of 11 T20Is, the most by any team in international cricket.

According to the Cricinfo website, Afghanistan is the only Associate team in T20Is to have scored 233 in this match. The previous highest was Ireland's 225 for 7 against Afghanistan in the final of the ICC World T20 qualifier in 2013. Afghanistan's previous highest total was 215 for 6, which they made against Zimbabwe in Sharjah in 2016. Afghanistan's 233 for 8 is the eighth-highest total in T20Is.

Meanwhile Mohammad Nabi is the only player to have scored 89 at No. 6 or lower in T20Is.

Afghanistan will play a 5 ODI at the same venue, starting from 15th March, while they beat Zimbabwe as will 3-2 in a 5 ODI series last month.

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