Rashid Khan claimed a hat-trick to help Afghanistan to a 3-0 series sweep over Ireland after their convincing 32-run victory in the third Twenty20 international on Sunday. Khan returned impressive figures of 5/27 to keep Ireland down to 178 for eight in their chase of 211 in Dehradun.
Mohammad Nabi hit 81 off 36 deliveries in Afghanistan’s 210 for seven after being put into bat first on a ground where they posted a T20 international record of 278/3 in the previous match.
Kevin O’Brien and Andy Balbirnie, who made 47, then put on a threatening 96-run second wicket stand to raise hopes of a successful chase but Khan hit back with his leg spin.
He got O’Brien caught behind for 74 but it was the 18th over when the world’s top T20 bowler became the first spinner in the format to take a hat-trick. Khan got George Dockrell, Shane Getkate and Simi Singh on consecutive deliveries to shut the door on Ireland.
Earlier Nabi demolished the Irish bowling attack as he smashed 6 fours and 7 sixes, hitting the ball to all parts of the ground. Ireland paceman Boyd Rankin took three wickets but gave away 53 runs in his four overs.
The two teams will now play five one-day internationals starting Thursday followed by a one-off Test at the same venue, which is Afghanistan’s adopted home ground.