It's not unusual by Tom Jones was being belted out over the stadium tannoy as Afghanistan beat Ireland by 21 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three match T20I series in Greater Noida.

Unfortunately for Ireland the Pontypridd singer's signature tune rings true in relation to their T20 woes against their hosts. This week in 1965 saw the Welshman's signature tune go to the top of the UK charts, and while Ireland's barren run doesn't go back 55 years, it is now 12 games and seven years since they last tasted success in the shortest format.

It was I'm afraid a very usual story in this contest, where the Irish started strongly in both innings, but faltered in the second phases. An excellent bowling display had seen the Afghans restricted to 76 for 2 in the opening 12 overs before a late charge saw 108 scored in the last 8, with skipper Asghar Afghan (49) and Mohammed Nabi (27) adding 74 in a five overs blitz.

Craig Young (1-27) bowled well despite 25 runs coming from one of his overs, and can consider himself unlucky as the first ball of that over saw Nabi hit in line by an inswinging Yorker, but instead of a wicket saw the ball go to the boundary for leg byes.

Josh Little too had bowled well, showing great variation before losing the plot in the final over conceding four sixes as 26 were plundered bringing the total to 184.

Irish openers Kevin O'Brien (19) and Paul Stirling (12) sparkled all too briefly and Gareth Delany (7) also fell cheaply.

Skipper Andrew Balbirnie played some lovely shots as he top scored with 46 from 35 balls (5 fours, 1 six) as he and Harry Tector (37) kept the chase on track with a fourth wicket partnership of 49 in 36 balls.

However, it was - as usual - the introduction of Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi which saw the decisive passage of play. The spinning duo put the brakes on the Irish chase, and the required rate climbed steadily, and soon came way out of reach.

In the end the losing margin was 21 runs and left the Irish wondering what might have been yet again.

“We started quite well, I thought we held them well – they’re obviously a dangerous side particularly in that power play," said skipper Balbirnie after the game. "But against a side like Afghanistan, you have to be good for 20 overs to get a result.

“We tend to start quite well in T20 Internationals, but it’s about getting that right balance in the middle to get us over the line in tight games.

“I think you’re always learning when you are playing such quality bowlers regularly, you’re learning about yourself and how you adapt in certain situations. The series is now gone, so we’ve got to focus on the third T20I – it’s a big T20 year obviously and we’re going to be going in there looking for the win."

The third and final match of the T20I series will be on Tuesday 8.30am (GMT) at the same venue.

Afghanistan Vs Ireland
1-Innings T20 Match Played At Greater Noida, India, 08-Mar-2020, Twenty20 International
Afghanistan Win by 21 runs

Round 1001
Toss won by Afghanistan
Umpires Ahmed Shah Pakteen (Afg) - Izatullah Safi (Afg) - Ahmed Shah Durrani (Afg)
Umpire notes Match ref: Sir R Richardson. TV ump Bismillah Jan Shinwari
Home Side (neutral)
Player of Match Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Comment 1001/51
Afghanistan led the 3-match series 2-0

Afghanistan 1st Innings 184/4 Closed (Overs 20)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
Hazratullah Zazai   c&b GJ Delany 28 33 1 1
Rahmanullah Gurbaz+ run out CA Young/A Balbirnie   35 30 0 3
Asghar Afghan* c HT Tector b CA Young 49 28 4 3
Mohammad Nabi c GH Dockrell b WB Rankin 27 17 2 1
Najibullah Zadran not out   16 9 0 2
Gulbadin Naib not out   13 4 0 2
Karim Janat dnb          
Mujeeb Ur Rahman dnb          
Rashid Khan dnb          
Samiullah Shinwari dnb          
Shapoor Zadran dnb          
extras   (b0 lb12 w3 nb1) 16      
TOTAL   4 wickets for 184      
1-57(Hazratullah Zazai) 2-76(Rahmanullah Gurbaz) 3-150(Mohammad Nabi)
4-157(Asghar Afghan)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
PR Stirling 1 0 3 0 - -
WB Rankin 4 0 37 1 - 1
Simi Singh 2 0 15 0 - -
J Little 4 0 42 0 - -
GH Dockrell 1 0 12 0 1 -
CA Young 4 0 27 1 1 -
GJ Delany 4 0 36 1 1 -

Ireland 1st Innings 163/6 Closed (Overs 20)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Bls 4s 6s
PR Stirling c Najibullah Zadran b Mujeeb Ur Rahman 12 10 2 0
KJ O'Brien c Karim Janat b Mujeeb Ur Rahman 19 11 1 2
A Balbirnie* c Samiullah Shinwari b Rashid Khan 46 35 5 1
GJ Delany c Rashid Khan b Gulbadin Naib 7 6 1 0
HT Tector   b Mujeeb Ur Rahman 37 29 3 1
LJ Tucker+ c Mohammad Nabi b Shapoor Zadran 16 14 2 0
Simi Singh not out   13 10 0 1
GH Dockrell not out   9 5 1 0
J Little dnb          
WB Rankin dnb          
CA Young dnb          
extras   (b0 lb2 w2 nb0) 4      
TOTAL   6 wickets for 163      
1-29(KJ O'Brien) 2-37(PR Stirling) 3-55(GJ Delany) 4-104(A Balbirnie)
5-136(HT Tector) 6-144(HT Tector)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
Mujeeb Ur Rahman 4 0 38 3 - -
Shapoor Zadran 4 0 25 1 - -
Karim Janat 3 0 32 0 - -
Gulbadin Naib 2 0 22 1 1 -
Mohammad Nabi 3 0 18 0 - -
Rashid Khan 4 0 26 1 - -