The second One-Day International of the five-match series between Afghanistan and Ireland was abandoned after 48.3 overs as rain made its presence felt on Saturday (March 2) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun. Having won the first encounter, Afghanistan still lead the series 1-0.
Fifties from Hazratullah Zazai (67), Rahmat Shah (54), Hashmatullah Shahidi (52) pushed Afghanistan to 250 for 7 in 48.3 overs before it started raining heavily. After waiting for over three hours the match was finally called off.
Earlier, Zazai, who smashed 162* in one of the T20Is against the same opponent, made his intention very clear by smashing Tim Murtagh for a maximum only in the second delivery of the innings. The left-hander then went after Andy McBrine, smacking him for two sixes through the leg side and three fours in the space of two overs.
Meanwhile, his opening partner, Javed Ahmadi occupied the other end and allowed Zazai to dominate. Zazai kept the assault going from one end and tonked James Cameron for two back to back sixes to bring up his maiden half-century in this format. The 20-year-old recently told CricketNext that he wants to emulate his idol MS Dhoni's helicopter shot and Zazai somehow managed to replicate it off Cameron's bowling, claiming a boundary over mid-off.
The 90-run stand finally came to end when Zazai top-edged one of Andy McBrine's deliveries to the third man, but only after smashing five fours and as many sixes. Ahmadi too couldn't survive for long and was caught for 22.
Rahmat and Shahidi added 87 runs for the third wicket but that came at a very slow rate. The two allowed every bowler to get back into rhythm and operate at an economical rate. Rahmat still played at a decent rate and managed eight fours before becoming George Dockrell's second victim. Skipper Asghar Afghan announced his arrival with back to back boundaries but was knocked in the delivery.
Mohammad Nabi hit a quickfire 24 off 20 deliveries but couldn't convert it into something substantial. Shahidi too perished after completing his sixth ODI fifty and that halted Afghanistan's charge. Just after Rashid Khan hit a six over cow corner to bring up the 250 it started pouring down in Dehradun, not allowing any further action.
The third ODI will be played at the same venue on Tuesday.
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