Afghanistan's stranglehold over Ireland in T20 cricket continues as they won their 11th game in a row against the Boys In Green.
The game was interestingly poised with the hosts needing 40 runs from the last five overs, before rain caused an abandonment immediately after Boyd Rankin had ended what proved to a match defining partnership of 63 in 44 balls between Samiullah Shenwari (29) and Najibullah Zadran (42*).
Chasing Ireland's 172, Afghanistan had raced out of the blocks with a hard hit opening stand of 54 in 4.3 overs before Simi Singh (2-18) removed both openers in the space of three balls.
Singh's direct hit in the next over saw Afghan skipper Ashgar run out without facing a ball, and when his younger brother Karim Janat was also run out, 54 for 0 had suddenly become 70 for 4.
Najibullah however struck decisive blows in his unbeaten 21-ball knock which got them 11 run ahead on DLS before the rain swept in.
Earlier it had been a familiar script between the two newest Full Members.
Ireland had made a fast start with Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien adding 63 in six overs before the Railway Union man was bowled for 35 off 17 balls (4 fours, 2 sixes) by Mujeeb off the last ball of the powerplay.
Stirling (60) went on to score his 24th T20 half century for Ireland - his 56th in all formats - as he and skipper Andrew Balbirnie (29) added a further 48.
Rashid Khan's (3-22) introduction saw him account for both as well as Lorcan Tucker as the Irish innings stalled.
Harry Tector's breezy 29 from 17 balls got Ireland up to a competitive 172 but in the end in Ireland's 1000th match, it was perhaps fitting that rain had the final say - much as it has done in the previous 999.
The sides meet again on Sunday at the same venue, with the final game in the short series taking place on Tuesday.
|Toss won by||Ireland|
|Umpires||Bismillah Shinwari (Afg) - Ahmed Shah Durrani (Afg) - Izatullah Safi (Afg)|
|Umpire notes||Match referee: Sir R Richardson, Tv Ump Ahmed Shah Pakteen|
|Comment||Ireland's 1000th capped match|
1000/49 Heavy rain ended the match after 15 overs of Afghanistan innings
Afghanistan led the 3-match series 1-0
|PR Stirling||c&b Rashid Khan||60||41||8||2|
|KJ O'Brien||b Mujeeb Ur Rahman||35||17||4||2|
|A Balbirnie*||b Rashid Khan||29||28||3||0|
|GJ Delany||b Shapoor Zadran||9||10||1||0|
|HT Tector||not out||29||17||3||1|
|LJ Tucker+||c Mujeeb Ur Rahman||b Rashid Khan||3||3||0||0|
|Simi Singh||run out Mohammad Nabi/Rahmanullah Gurbaz||4||3||0||0|
|GH Dockrell||not out||1||1||0||0|
|extras||(b0 lb1 w1 nb0)||2|
|TOTAL||6 wickets for||172|
|1-63(KJ O'Brien) 2-111(PR Stirling) 3-127(A Balbirnie) 4-147(GJ Delany)|
|5-152(LJ Tucker) 6-161(Simi Singh)|
|Mujeeb Ur Rahman||4||0||49||1||-||-|
|Hazratullah Zazai||b Simi Singh||23||15||2||2|
|Rahmanullah Gurbaz+||lbw||b Simi Singh||28||13||4||1|
|Karim Janat||run out GJ Delany/LJ Tucker||6||12||0||0|
|Asghar Afghan*||run out Simi Singh||0||0||0||0|
|Samiullah Shinwari||b WB Rankin||28||29||3||0|
|Najibullah Zadran||not out||42||21||3||2|
|Mujeeb Ur Rahman||dnb|
|extras||(b0 lb3 w3 nb0)||6|
|TOTAL||5 wickets for||133|
|1-54(Rahmanullah Gurbaz) 2-55(Hazratullah Zazai) 3-55(Asghar Afghan)|
|4-70(Karim Janat) 5-133(Samiullah Shinwari)|