1st T20I: Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran Power Afghanistan To Five-Wicket Win Against Ireland
Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran stitched an unbeaten 86-run stand for the sixth-wicket as Afghanistan registered a five-wicket win against Ireland in the first T20 International in Dehradun. All-rounder Mohammad Nabi was unbeaten on 49 runs off 40 balls as Afghanistan chased down the small target with four balls to spare and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Nabi struck five boundaries and a six in his entertaining knock. On the other hand, number seven batsman Zadran contributed with an unbeaten knock of 40 runs. Zadran’s 36-ball knock was decorated by three boundaries and a six.
Earlier, Nabi and fellow spinner Rashid Khan took two wickets each to restrict Ireland to 132 for six.
Afghanistan were in trouble after being reduced to 50/5 but the left-right batting pair of Nabi and Zadran ensured their team’s eighth consecutive T20 win over Ireland.
Ireland’s pace spearhead Boyd Rankin took two wickets but gave away 39 runs in his four overs.
Earlier Ireland recovered from a precarious 65 for six to bolster their total after electing to bat first in Afghanistan’s adopted home ground.
George Dockrell, who made 34, and wicketkeeper-batsman Stuart Poynter, who scored 31, put on an unbeaten 67-run stand.
Khan, the world’s top-ranked T20 bowler, weaved his magic in his very first over, taking two wickets in the space of three deliveries as Ireland slipped to 65 for six in the 12th over.
The batting duo played the Afghanistan spinners with aplomb and then counter-attacked in the last five overs to get 47 runs from the final 30 deliveries.
Nabi returned an impressive 2/16 in four overs of off-spin.
The second match will be played on Saturday in Dehradun.