Afghanistan breaks record for highest Twenty20 score in win over Ireland

An Afghan cricketer plays a stroke. — AFP  File

An Afghan cricketer plays a stroke. — AFP File

Their mammoth score surpasses the T20I total of 263/3 scored by Australia against Sri Lanka in 2016.

Rashid then struck twice in the 16th over, finishing with match figures of 4-25 from his four overs, as Ireland were restricted to 194-6. Hazratullah Zazai played the knock of his life as he remained unbeaten on 162 off 62 deliveries at a strike rate of more than 260.

In all T20s, Zazai's 162* levels up with Hamilton Masakadza as the joint third-highest individual score.

Zazai's 16 sixes in an innings were two more than Finch's previous record of 14 against England at Southampton in 2013. The other opener, Ghani, scored three sixes and seven fours.

Batting first after winning the toss, Afghanistan ended up scoring a record 278 for the loss of three wickets. The final game will be played on Sunday. It was the startling partnership that helped Afghanistan enter the record books by registering the highest total in T20I cricket.

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Three-month-old Abdullah; Rana, 2; Hala, 3; Ola, 8; Mohamad, 9; Rola, 12; and Ahmed, 14, all were lost after the fire. Josh Crawford sang "Amazing Grace" and said they all needed to draw upon their faith to recover from the tragedy.

Australian Aaron Finch holds the record with 172 against Zimbabwe in Harare last year, and the Australian was one of the first to pay credit to the 20-year-old.

Zazai, in his fifth T20I, became the second Afghanistan player to score a ton in this format after Mohammad Shahzad. That makes his century the third-fastest in men's T20Is.

Ireland began their chase full of confidence and vigour as Paul Stirling reached his half-century off 27 balls, with eight fours and a six - dominating his opening partnership with Kevin O'Brien (37).

- Stirling's 91 is the highest by an Ireland batsman in T20I cricket.

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