Afghanistan vs Ireland: Rashid Khan, Hazratullah Zazai stand out as hosts make rapid strides with T20I series sweep

The rise of Afghan cricket is one of the great sporting fairy-tales and it is showing no signs of ending after their record-breaking Twenty20 series sweep over Ireland.

Agence France-Presse, Feb 25, 2019 17:56:33 IST

New Delhi: The rise of Afghan cricket is one of the great sporting fairy-tales and it is showing no signs of ending after their record-breaking T20I series sweep over Ireland.

Spin king Rashid Khan became the first bowler to take four wickets in four balls in a T20 international as Afghanistan convincingly won the third and final match in Dehradun on Sunday.

Afghanistan were too good for Ireland as they comfortably won all three games. Image credit: Twitter/@ACBofficials

Afghanistan were too good for Ireland as they comfortably won all three games. Image credit: Twitter/@ACBofficials

It came after Afghanistan's world-record innings of 278-3 on Saturday, including opening batsman Hazratullah Zazai's 162 off 62 deliveries in which he hammered 16 sixes and 11 fours.

The performances, which come after Afghanistan and Ireland were both awarded Test status in 2017, show the Afghans cannot be taken lightly at this year's ODI World Cup in England and Wales.

War-torn Afghanistan's ascent is astonishing as their players learned cricket in Pakistani refugee camps before eventually joining the world's elite.

Former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody led the praise for Khan, who starred in last year's Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 tournament.

"Just brilliant, well bowled," Moody tweeted.

Khan, who has taken 118 wickets in 52 one-day internationals and 75 in 38 T20 games, stood out with his magical leg spin. He bagged 11 wickets in the three games against Ireland.

Afghanistan have made rapid strides since making their World Cup debut in 2015, and they played their first Test — cricket's prestigious, five-day format — in India last year.

They will now play Ireland in five one-day internationals starting Thursday followed by a one-off Test at Dehradun's Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, their adopted home ground.

Afghanistan are preparing to take part in the 10-team World Cup in England and Wales from 30 May, where they will hope to set off more fireworks.

Updated Date: Feb 25, 2019 17:56:33 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Mumbai
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Delhi
14 9 5 0 18
4
Hyderabad
14 6 8 0 12
5
Kolkata
14 6 8 0 12
6
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
7
Rajasthan
14 5 8 0 11
8
Bangalore
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5372 125
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3846 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254