Who would have predicted that: Mohammad Nabi puts on a T20 batting masterclass against Ireland
In our feature series - Who would have predicted that? – we are looking back at matches where there were big upsets or extraordinary individual performances that turned matches on their head.
The 2nd T20I of the Afghanistan series against Ireland in 2019 had yielded 472 runs and only 9 wickets with Afghanistan blasting the highest T20I score ever- 278/3. If you thought the fun was over, you were mistaken. In the very next match, Afghanistan struck 210 on the back of two spectacular performances.
Afghanistan 210/7 (20 overs) - Mohammad Nabi 81 (36), Hazratullah Zazai 31 (17); Boyd Rankin 3/53 (4), Shane Getkate 1/21 (2)
Ireland 178/8 (20 overs) - Kevin O'Brien 74 (47), Andy Balbirnie 47 (33); Rashid Khan 5/27 (4), Ziaur Rahman 2/42 (4)
Result - Afghanistan won by 32 runs
Like the last match in which Hazratullah Zazai had broken the record for the most runs by a batsman in a T20I with an unbeaten 162 off just 62 deliveries, the opening combination of Zazai and Usman Ghani got Afghanistan off to a rollicking start yet again with 36 runs within the first 4 overs.
After the openers were done with their job, all-rounder Mohammad Nabi came out to bat with more than half the innings done and dusted. He still managed to smash 81 off just 36 deliveries including 6 fours and 7 sixes in a knock that was played at a strike rate of 225.
Fall of wickets: 1-46 (Usman Ghani, 4.1 ov), 2-57 (Hazratullah Zazai, 4.6 ov), 3-67 (Najeeb Tarakai, 7.4 ov), 4-107 (Asghar Afghan, 12.1 ov), 5-143 (Najibullah Zadran, 15.1 ov), 6-191 (Mohammad Nabi, 17.3 ov), 7-202 (Shafiqullah, 18.2 ov)
An assault of similar intensity from Kevin O'Brien kept Ireland in the match. O'Brien smacked 74 runs off 47 deliveries and was well assisted by Andrew Balbirnie's 47 off 33 balls.
In came Rashid Khan and picked up a double hat-trick i.e 4 wickets off four balls, dismissing O'Brien, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate and Simi Singh off consecutive balls. O'Brien was dismissed on the last ball of the 16th over while the other three wickets were pocketed on the first three deliveries off Rashid Khan's next over.
Nabi also contributed with the ball, giving away runs at just 7 RPO in the high-scoring match. Despite Rashid Khan's rare feat, Mohammad Nabi's all-round contribution won him the Man of the Match award.
Fall of wickets: 1-32 (Paul Stirling, 2.5 ov), 2-128 (Andy Balbirnie, 13.4 ov), 3-129 (Stuart Thompson, 13.6 ov), 4-153 (Kevin O'Brien, 15.6 ov), 5-158 (George Dockrell, 17.1 ov), 6-158 (Shane Getkate, 17.2 ov), 7-158 (Simi Singh, 17.3 ov), 8-175 (Josh Little, 19.2 ov)
Afghanistan - Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Ghani, Najeeb Tarakai, Asghar Afghan (c), Shafiqullah Shafiq (wk), Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan, Sayed Shirzad, Ziaur Rahman
Ireland - Paul Stirling (c), Kevin O Brien, Andrew Balbirnie, Shane Getkate, Simi Singh, Stuart Poynter (wk), George Dockrell, Stuart Thompson, Joshua Little, Boyd Rankin, Peter Chase
Match: AFG v IRE, 3rd T20I, Afghanistan v Ireland in India, 2019
Date: Sunday, February 24, 2019
Toss: Ireland won the toss and decided to bowl
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun
Umpires: Ahmed Shah Durrani, Izatullah
Third Umpire: Ahmed Shah Pakteen
Match Referee: Javagal Srinath
© Cricket World 2020