Young IPL star spins Ireland to another collapse and series loss
Ireland were on the receiving end of another horror batting collapse in Greater Noida as Rashid Khan showed why the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise paid almost £500,000 for the Afghanistan teenager to play in the Indian Premier League.
The 18-year-old leg spinner finished with the joint fourth best figures in a T20 international (2-1-3-5) as Ireland, set 46 runs to win from 29 balls after a badly-timed rain break, lost seven wickets for 14 runs to hand the Afghans the series with tomorrow's final game still to come.
Yet Paul Stirling had given Ireland a blistering start to their pursuit of 185 in 20 overs, hitting four sixes in the space of 10 deliveries after Stuart Thompson had perished for just five.
Kevin O'Brien had just joined William Porterfield, who had also hit two sixes, but even with eight wickets in hand, a target of 120 from 83 balls is much easier than 46 off 29. And so it proved.
Porterfield failed to see out the interrupted over and Rashid dismissed O'Brien and Gary Wilson in his first over to leave Ireland 71 for five.
His second over was a triple wicket maiden with Lorcan Tucker caught on the long-on boundary, Greg Thompson helplessly stumped and, next ball, Barry McCarthy - on his T20 debut - trapped lbw.
Jacob Mulder survived the hat-trick but scoring 28 off the last over was mission impossible for him and George Dockrell.
McCarthy had made a dream start with a wicket in all but one of his four overs but only the collapse will be remembered.
Scores: Afghanistan 184-8 (20 overs, Najeeb Tarakai 90, Mohammad Nabi 34; B McCarthy 4-33) Ireland 93-9 (11 overs, P Stirling 34, W Porterfield 22; Rashid Khan 5-3, Karim Janet 3-24). Afghanistan won by 17 runs (DLS)