Records tumble as Afghan young gun goes six crazy
HAZRATULLAH Zazai scored 162 not out to power Afghanistan to the biggest team total in a Twenty20 international and an 84-run win over Ireland.
The 20-year-old Zazai, playing only his fifth T20 for Afghanistan, smashed 16 sixes and 11 fours in a 62-ball innings as Afghanistan reached 3-278 in Dehradun, India.
It eclipsed the previous highest T20I score of 263-3 by Australia against Sri Lanka at Pallekele in 2016.
Left hander Zazai's score was the second-highest individual innings in T20 internationals. Aussie skipper Aaron Finch holds the record with 172 against Zimbabwe in Harare last year.
Ireland captain Paul Stirling made a fighting 91 off 50 balls in his team's reply of 9-194 but Ireland fell well short of the target to trail 2-0 in the three-match series.
Stirling and Kevin O'Brien (37) shared a 126-run opening wicket stand but both fell in successive overs before prolific leg-spinner Rashid Khan ran through the batting by claiming 4-25.
In a record-breaking day for Afghanistan, openers Zazai and Usman Ghani (73) shared a record 236-run partnership - for any T20 wicket - off 105 balls.
Ireland got a chance to dismiss Zazai on 72 in the 10th over, but George Dockrell missed a sitter at point boundary.
Stirling used eight bowlers, including his one over of off-spin which went for 24 runs.
Zazai reached his half-century off 25 balls and then completed his hundred off 42 balls by smashing Stirling for a six over long on.
Zazai's 16 sixes in an innings were two more than Finch's previous record of 14 against England at Southampton in 2013.
Afghanistan will look for a series sweep when both teams meet again on Monday morning (EDT).