Zazai blazes Afghans to world record 278 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 24, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:12 AM, February 24, 2019

Zazai blazes Afghans to world record 278

22 sixes, 19 fours, a 42-ball hundred and plenty of records under threat; Afghanistan put on an absolute show on way to posting a world record 278 for three in the second T20I against Ireland in Dehradun on Saturday.

The record total proved too much for the Irish who managed to score 194 for six wickets to lose the match by 84 runs.

Asghar Afghan won the toss, elected to bat and then like many others enjoyed a spectacle unfold before his eyes at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium as Hazratullah Zazai and Usman Ghani tonked the ball, zoomed past many records.

Zazai was in the form of his life as he smashed his maiden T20I hundred off just 42 balls. The 20-year-old remained unbeaten on 162 that came off just 62 balls and at a colossal strike rate of 261.29.

During his blitzkrieg, Zazai -- who was dropped on 72 by George Dockrell -- smashed 11 boundaries and 16 sixes as he took over Aaron Finch's (14) record of most sixes by a batsman in a T20I innings.

The opening duo of Zazai and Ghani also forged a T20I record for the highest partnership for any wicket, putting on a 236-run stand to go past Australia duo Aaron Finch and D'Arcy Short's previous record of 223.  Afghanistan also surpassed Australia's 263, scored against Sri Lanka in Pallekele, to post the format's highest total in an innings.

Their 22 sixes were also the most in a T20I innings, overtaking the 21 that the West Indies had hit against India in a game at Fort Lauderdale, Florida in August 2017.

Zazai's 162 was not quite enough to take him past Finch's record for most runs, 172, for a batsman in a T20I innings, the left-hander went past Finch's second-highest T20I score of 156 and Glenn Maxwell's 145 to jump to the second spot.

And while Ghani will not make the headlines like his compatriot's knock, his scintillating 73 off 48 studded with seven boundaries and three hits over the fence, was vital. Their record partnership was brought to an end in the 105th delivery of the innings by Boyd Rankin, giving Mohammad Nabi a chance to play a little cameo, which he did by adding 17 off 5 deliveries before he was dismissed by Joshua Little.

SCORES IN BRIEF:

AFGHANISTAN: 278 for 3 in 20 overs (Zazai 162, Ghani 73; Rankin 1-35)

IRELAND: 194 for 6 in 20 overs (Stirling 91, Kevin O Brien 37; Rashid 4-25)

Result: Afghanistan won by 84 runs

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