Zazai and Afghanistan smash records galore in thumping victory over Ireland
Afghanistan and opener Hazratullah Zazai sent records tumbling in Dehradun, sealing a series victory over Ireland courtesy of an astonishing batting display that yielded the highest score in Twenty20 international history.
Zazai thumped 162 not out from just 62 deliveries - the second-highest score in T20Is - and shared a record-breaking stand of 236 with opening partner Usman Ghani (73 off 48) to lead Afghanistan to a scarcely believable 278-3 on Saturday.
Paul Stirling hit 91 from 50 balls in reply, but it was nowhere near enough as Ireland collapsed from 126-0 to 194-6 and were beaten by 84 runs, with Rashid Khan returning 4-25.
Afghanistan's total surpassed the previous T20I best of 263-3, by Australia against Sri Lanka in September 2016, while Zazai and Afghanistan also broke the individual and team records for the most sixes in an innings (with 16 and 22 respectively).
An inspired Zazai, who was dropped on 73, fell narrowly short of bettering Aaron Finch's record individual score of 172, for Australia against Zimbabwe in July 2018.
Only David Miller and Rohit Sharma have managed faster T20I hundreds, reaching the landmark in 35 balls compared to Zazai's 42.
Afghanistan are now 2-0 up in the series with one match to play. Their score on Saturday outstripped the 268 runs both teams combined to make in Thursday's series-opener.
278/3 - Highest T20I total— ICC (@ICC) February 23, 2019
236 - Highest T20I partnership
16 - Most sixes in an individual T20I innings
162* - Second-highest T20I score
42 balls - Third-fastest men's T20I ton
Just a few records broken by Afghanistan today!#AFGvIRE LIVE https://t.co/7szofdyWOtpic.twitter.com/46MW2RXTky
T20I records broken in the match:
Highest team total: Afghanistan 278-3 (previous best was Australia's 263-3 v Sri Lanka at Pallekele in September 2016)
Biggest partnership for any wicket: 236 between Zazai and Ghani (previous best was 223 from Aaron Finch and D'Arcy Short for Australia v Zimbabwe in July 2018)
Most individual sixes in an innings: 16 from Zazai (previous best was 14 by Finch for Australia v England in August 2013)
Most team sixes in an innings: 22 for Afghanistan (previous best was 21, jointly held by West Indies and India)