In a rain-hit encounter, Afghanistan won the first T20I game against Ireland by 16 runs in an 18 overs per side affair. Batting first, Afghanistan scored 160 batting first inspired by Hazratullah Zazai's 74. Playing only his second T20I – and second international game, both in the shortest format – the 20-year-old took off from the start and played a composed knock which included 8 fours and 6 sixes.
Speaking on the performance of their opponents, Irish skipper Gary Wilson said " That was his second game, we didn’t know much about him. He seemed to hit to all parts".
Regarding their effort in the second half, Wilson said “We came back really well – after the start they got, that was a great positive. I thought the boys showed great character,” said Wilson.
“We can actually take a lot of confidence, I thought we played pretty well, particularly the way we came back with the ball. Josh Little (2/20) bowled really well, and that’s why we brought him in with the left arm pace – he will be one for the next few years.”
The Irish innings did not have the sting in their chase as they lost wickets at regular intervals. After Stirling fell, with Ireland on 47/3, Wilson’s 23-ball 34 and some lower-order hitting from Singh (20) and George Dockrell (22*) were the only major contributions. Rashid Khan returned 3/35, and Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman picked up two wickets apiece to stop Ireland well short.
The second game will be played on Wednesday, 22 August.