World ‘s top-ranked bowler – Rashid Khan once again justified his numero uno tag with a scintillating performance in the third and final T20 international against Ireland in Dehradun. Rashid picked up four wickets in four balls as Afghanistan beat Ireland to secure a 3-0 series win in the final T20I in India.
The 20-year old spinner ended the match with incredible figures – 5/27 after Ireland began their chase of 211 brightly. Earlier, Afghan stalwart Mohammad Nabi smashed seven sixes as his 81 drove Afghanistan over the 200-mark for the second time in two days. Ireland opener Kevin O’Brien top-scored for his the men in green with a brilliant knock of 74.
Although Afghanistan’s 2-0 lead meant Sunday’s game was a dead rubber, Ireland came into the match hoping to restore some pride having been on the receiving end of a record T20 international score of 278/3 in the second game.
Hazratullah Zazai scored a stunning 162 not out in that game and once again set off at a quick pace, racing to 31 after four overs. Two quick wickets from Boyd Rankin helped check the Afghan innings but Nabi’s 36-ball blitz ensured that Ireland were set another daunting run chase.
O’Brien spearheaded the chase for Ireland and reached his half-century while becoming just the fourth Irishman to reach 1,000 runs in the format. The Dubliner became the first batsman to fall to Khan with the last ball of the 16th over, driving at a wide delivery with the bottom edge just carrying to wicketkeeper Shafiqullah Shafuq.
Khan, who took 4/25 a day earlier, had his second courtesy of a stunning catch over the boundary from Nabi before Shane Geftake and Simi Singh fell in the next two deliveries.
The five-match ODI series between the countries begins on Thursday before they play a Test match at the same venue starting on 15 March.