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Ireland forced to play second fiddle to Nabi

By Ian Callender

Ireland posted their fifth highest total in a Twenty20 international but still lost the final game of the three-match series against Afghanistan by 28 runs.

Two days after Rashid Khan had sparked an Ireland batting collapse it was the Afghans' other Indian Premier League star who pummelled the Irish bowlers in a devastating burst of late-order hitting.

At the start of the 15th over, Mohammad Nabi had scored four from his first five balls. He was run out to the last ball of the innings for an astonishing 89, from 30 balls with six fours and nine sixes, as Afghanistan crashed 104 from those last six overs.

Poor Barry McCarthy had to bowl two of them and finished with the most expensive bowling in a T20 international (0-69), yet, in a superb fightback, Ireland, thanks a record powerplay score of 91-1, were still ahead of their hosts, midway through the penultimate over in pursuit of a daunting 234 for victory,

Unfortunately, they had no one-one left to match Nabi, with Gary Wilson's dismissal's for 59 from 34 balls with the total on 201, the first of five wickets to fall for four runs in seven balls.

Scores: Afghanistan 233-8 (20 overs, Mohammad Nabi 89, Mohammad Shahzad 72; K O'Brien 4-45, J Mulder 2-32) Ireland 205 (19.2 overs, G Wilson 59, P Stirling 49, S Thompson 43; Rashid Khan 3-28. Ireland won by 28 runs

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