Afghanistan,one of the latest nation to be considered as a full member by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The team has been creating a great impact ever since they started as an affiliate team. It was only in June of 2017, the Asian team became the 12th team to be added in the full members list.
Though, the relevant young team has played few matches in the highest level, they have never failed to showcase their talents in the opportunities they were given. They take their competition to the highest level when playing with the best teams and the best example to back that is the 2019 World Cup face-off against India.
Cricwizz takes a look into the Top 5 Highest scores scored by Afghanistan players in T20I.
1. Hazratullah Zazai (162* of 66 balls)
One would definitely agree on that it was a innings of a lifetime that night by the 22- year old Opener, He scored a mammoth of a mere 66 balls, in which he cleared the boundary ropes on 16 times and included 11 fours, which still stands as the record for the most number of sixes hit in an innings in T20I. His towering score of 162 was only 10 behind the highest ever score of 172 scored by Aaron FInch. Zazai played his innings at an astonishing strike rate of 261.29. His score helped Afghanistan reach 278 in their 20 overs,which stands the highest team total in a T20 International match. The Asian team ended up winning the match by 84 runs.
2. Mohammad Shahzad (118* of 67 balls)
Known for his Big-hitting and fearless batting, the 32-year old flamboyant batsman makes it second on the list with his 118* against Zimbabwe. The Wicket-Keeper Batsman was unstoppable on the day. He was clearing the ropes at ease, he managed to hit 8 maximums and 10 fours. He paced his innings at a strike-rate of 176.11 which should be considered par to his standards. His score helped the Afghanistan team reach a winning total of 215.Afghanistan ended up on the winning-side by 81 runs. The Wicket-Keeper Batsman holds several records including most dismissals by a wicket-keeper in T20I and also holds the record for the only player to score two half centuries on the same day.
He was included in the 2019 World cup squad. But was later ruled out with a knee Injury. Later, in an Interview, Shahzad revealed that, he was not injured and he was removed by the board despite that. He further added that it was doubtful whether he will make it back to the team.
3. Najeeb Tarakai ( 90 of 58 balls)
The 29 year old aggressive batsman does not have a lot of matches in his pocket ,as he made his debut 2014 and has played only 12 T20Is and 1 ODI for Afghanistan. Though he made his intentions clear from the word go,his consistency was a major factor. His innings of 90 was an exception though,it was a classic innings on a pitch where the other Batsman failed to make an impact. He paced his innings at a modest strike-rate of 155 and took his time in the initial stages,later going on to score 5 sixes and 7 fours. He was dismissed on 90, 10 runs behind a well-deserved century. His 90 helped Afghanistan reach a total of 184 runs and end up on the winning side by 17 runs.
4. Mohammad Nabi (89 of 30 balls)
Those who follow Cricwizz ,would definitely be very familiar with this name as he makes it to the top 5 of every list of Afghanistan. Such is the impact of this player. The 35 year old has several records in his name and makes it to the list for top scores too..Let us look into the astonishing innings of 89 of a mere 30 balls. The man was in the form of his life and looked in a different zone when striking the ball.His innings was paced at an jaw-dropping strike-rate of 300 with 9 sixes and 6 fours. The only way the Irish could stop him that night was by running by him out. He had everyone on his feet by his hard-hitting and it was very unfortunate to see him get out on 89, just 11 runs behind a spectacular century.
His score propelled the team to a towering total of 233, though the Irish closed in, the Asian team were too tough to beat that night, and ended up winning the match by 28 runs.
5. Mohammad Nabi (84* of 54 balls)
The former Afghanistan Captain makes to again to the list with yet another match-winning knock of 84* in 54 balls. It was an innings of wisdom by the All-rounder. His paced his innings at a modest strike-rate of 155.55. Its is be noted that only 2 other Afghani players could make it to the double digits that day. The innings showcased the sheer class of the 35-year old. He scored 7 sixes and 3 fours in his knock of 84 and helped Afghanistan reach a fighting total of 164. It looked like the Tigers could chase it down with the likes of Shakib Al Hasan. Liton Das and Mahmudullah. But thanks to the brilliant bowling display by the young Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Afghanistan ended up on the winning side by 25 runs.
Cover picture credits: Bignewsnetwork