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Zazai 162*, Afghanistan 278 in record-breaking run-fest

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Hazratullah Zazai smashed the second-highest individual score in all T20Is and Afghanistan posted the highest ever T20 total, in an evening in Dehradun where a slew of records were rewritten.

Zazai, the left-hand opening batsman, smashed 162* off just 62 balls in the second T20I against Ireland on Saturday, February 23, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. His 16 sixes, the most in a T20I innings, only enhanced his reputation as a big-hitting entertainer – he already shares the record for quickest half-century, off 12 balls, including six sixes in a single over.

He starred in a 236-run opening stand with Usman Ghani, who contributed a handy 73 off 48. It was the highest stand for any wicket in T20s, going ahead of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers’ 229 in IPL 2016.

The 278/3 Afghanistan reached was the highest T20 total ever. And with Ireland replying with 194/6, it made for a cumulative 472 runs in the match, the third-highest in a T20I.

While they slipped to an 84-run defeat, Ireland responded with a few records of their own. Paul Stirling came out swinging, his 91 off 50 balls the best score by an Irishman in the format on the international stage.

He and Kevin O’Brien added 126 in 11.5 overs for the first wicket, a partnership record for Ireland, improving on the 115 they set against Scotland in Oman earlier in the month.

Afghanistan lead the series 2-0.

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