Rahmat Shah's unbeaten century led Afghanistan to a series clinching seven wickets win in the 5th one-day international in Greater Noida.
Chasing 230, Shah timed the run chase to perfection as he and Samiullah Shewari shared a match winning unbroken third wicket partnership. The pair added 133 in 145 balls in a nerveless chase, to seal a fully deserved win.
Shah's unbeaten 108 came from 128 balls and included 11 fours and one maximum. He found a willing partner in the experienced Shenwari, whose undefeated 62 came from 77 balls (5 fours, 1 six).
Tim Murtagh (1-36) and Stuart Thompson (1-38) had given Ireland early hope of defending their modest total with the early wickets of Shahzad and debutant Tarakai, but skipper Stanikazai (39) settled the nerves with a 3rd wicket stand of 73 with Shah, and from then on the momentum was always with the hosts.
Earlier, Ireland were left to rue another batting collapse when they looked on course to post a challenging total.
Paul Stirling's 4th ODI half-century in five games saw him and Ed Joyce (42) give the Irish the perfect platform with an opening stand of 69. Stirling's 51 took his series tally to 341 runs at an average of 68.20, which saw him earn both the Player and Batsman of the series awards.
Skipper William Porterfield and Niall O'Brien both scored 34 but from 156 for 2 in the 32nd over, the wheels came off the Irish innings. as they lost eight wickets for 73 runs to be dismissed for 229 with 11 balls unused.
Not surprisingly it was Rashid Khan who proved the destroyer-in-chief, his 4 for 16 taking his series tally to 16, which saw him awarded the bowler of the series award. There's no doubt Ireland badly missed the stability afforded by the experienced Kevin O'Brien, who was ruled out of the game with a hamstring injury.
Farred Malik (3-65) and Dawlat Zadran (2-33) were the other main wicket takers in the Irish innings.
Porterfield admitted afterwards that his side simply hadn't scored enough runs to put pressure on the Afghanistan reply, depite the manful efforts of the bowlers.
"I think we were 20 or 30 runs light with the bat," said Porterfield. "We would have liked to have posted 250-260 there, and I think that would have made for a really interesting chase.
"We gave it a good fight, but that was a fantastic knock from Rahmat which saw them over the line. I'm pleased with the character we've shown after going 2-0 down, and the way the team fought to the end today."
Porterfield looked ahead to the crucial four-day match against the same opponents and hoped the change in format would bring a change in fortunes.
"It's a format we've done very well in over the years. The last month here will stand us in good stead going into the match."
The focus now switches to the InterContinental Cup, with the crucial four-day match getting under way at the same venue on Tuesday 28 March 2017(4.30am GMT).