The 20-year-old Zazai was involved in a highest ever opening partnership in Twenty20s with Usman Ghani (73 off 48) as the duo forged 236 runs as Afghanistan surpassed Australia’s 263 for 3 posted against Sri Lanka at Pallekele in 2016. @ Twitter/ACB

Hard-hitting left-handed batsman Hazratullah Zazai lit up the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium with a scintillating 162 not out which included 16 towering sixes and 11 boundaries to help Afghanistan to a crushing 84-run victory against Ireland in the second Twenty20 International at Dehradun on Saturday. Afghanistan have thus taken an unassailable 2-0 lead with one game to go on Sunday. (ALSO READ: Hazratullah Zazai cuts loose, Afghanistan demolish Ireland bowlers, T20I record books)

In an absolute run fest that any bowler would dread to witness, 472 runs were scored in 40 overs. It all started with Afghanistan, who won the toss and elected to bat on a sheer batting paradise and the scoreboard bore the brunt of it – bleeding with fours and sixes.

The 20-year-old Zazai was involved in a highest ever opening partnership in Twenty20s with Usman Ghani (73 off 48) as the duo forged 236 runs as Afghanistan surpassed Australia’s 263 for 3 posted against Sri Lanka at Pallekele in 2016. Mohammad Nabi (17 off 5) then contributed with a nice cameo as Afghanistan finished with a mammoth 278/3. It was also the second highest T20I score and the third fastest men’s century. (ALSO READ: Afghanistan’s new superstar: The record-breaking Hazratullah Zazai)

In reply, Ireland were off to a good start with captain Paul Stirling and Kevin O Brien conjuring 126 runs for the opening wicket. However, the partnership was broken, courtesy Fareed Malik, who dismissed O’Brien for 37. Stirling continued to up the ante but fell nine runs short of his maiden century after he was sent back to the pavilion by Mujeeb Ur Rahman. His 51-ball knock was laced with 12 boundary and a couple of sixes.

Once the openers departed, star legspinner Rashid Khan accounted for the next four wickets as Ireland ended with 194/6 in 20 overs. Both teams will also play five ODIs and one Test after the T20 series. (ALSO READ: Hazratullah Zazai’s thunderous 162* powers Afghanistan to record 278/3)

Brief scores: Afghanistan 278/3 in 20 overs (Hazrutallah Zazai 162*, Usman Ghani 73) beat Ireland 194/6 in 20 overs (Paul Stirling 91, Kevin O’Brien 37; Rashid Khan 4/25) by 84 runs to take 2-0 lead in three-match series