Rashid Khan's 5-for 3 is the best figures by an Associate bowler
Rashid Khan’s 5-for 3 is the best figures by an Associate bowler

Afghanistan trounced Ireland by 17 runs by Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method in the second T20I of the three-match series. They have now taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3-match series. Batting first, Afghanistan made a daunting 184 for 8 in 20 overs. Ireland were on course before a rain interruption pushed them back. Irish batsmen could never recover from the rain delay as Rashid Khan, with remarkable figures of 5 for 3 in 2 overs (the best T20I figures for a player from an Associate Nation), earned a memorable win for his side. Earlier, Najeeb Tarakai s attacking 58-ball 90 and Mohammad Nabi s 15-ball 34 had laid the foundation for a big total. LIVE UPDATES: Afghanistan vs Ireland, 2nd T20I at Greater Noida

Afghanistan had lost quick wickets: Mohammad Shahzad and captain Asghar Stanikzai scored 4 each, Samiullah Shenwari got 17, and Shafiqullah fell for a golden duck. Ireland seemed favourites at this stage, but Tarakai ensured there was no setback and ably anchored the innings with calculative risks. He had crucial stands with Karim Janat and Nabi, and lifted Afghanistan from 12 for 2, then from 69 for 4, to 184 for 8.

Barry McCarthy (who finished with 4 for 33) and Kevin O Brien began well but leaked runs in the death overs. George Dockrell, Jacob Mulder and Stuart Thompson all went for runs as Afghanistan crossed the 150-run mark with ease.

Ireland were off to a flier in response. They lost Thompson early but Paul Stirling and William Porterfield took them forward. Stirling and Porterfield handled the pace duo of Janat and Shapoor Zadran with ease before rain spoiled their party. It led to a delay of about an hour. At this stage Ireland needed 120 from 83 balls, and were 11 ahead of the D/L par score.

The target was revised to 111 in 11 overs when play resumed, leaving Ireland to score 46 from 30 balls with 8 wickets in hand. Afghanistan returned in a new avatar, Rashid leading the riot with wickets off his 3rd, 5th, 6th, 10th and 11th balls.

This was the joint-cheapest 5-wicket haul in T20I history: Rangana Herath had dismantled New Zealand with a 5 for 3 in the 2014 World WT20 2014. With this victory, Afghanistan have remained unbeaten against Ireland in their last 4 encounters and have stretched their winning streak in the format to 10 games (the most by any side). They will look to whitewash the Irishmen in the third T20I, a dead rubber, on Sunday.

Brief scores:

Afghanistan 184 for 8 (Najeeb Tarakai 90, Karim Janat 20, Mohammad Nabi 34; Barry McCarthy 4 for 33, Stuart Thompson 1 for 44) beat Ireland 93 for 9 in 11 overs (Paul Stirling 34, William Porterfield 22; Rashid Khan 5 for 3, Karim Janat for 24) by 17 runs D/L method.

Men of the Match: Najeeb Tarakai and Rashid Khan.