Andy Balbirnie gave Afghanistan a taste of their own medicine Tuesday, smashing a brilliant unbeaten 145 as Ireland claimed their first win of a punishing series.
The 28-year-old Dubliner anchored Ireland's innings as they passed Afghanistan's 256-8 with an over to spare to win by four wickets.
Najibullah Zadran hit an unbeaten 104 as Afghanistan recovered from losing five cheap wickets to set a score that they must have thought was enough to preserve their unbeaten record in the series.
But Balbirnie hit eight sixes and eight fours to set up the morale-boosting win that levelled the five-match series 1-1, with two matches to play.
Ireland were whitewashed in the earlier T20 games in which a series of world records fell.
SCORES IN BRIEF
AFGHANISTAN: 256 for 8 in 50 overs (Zazai 34, Afghan 75, Zadran 104 not out; Murtagh 2-60, Rankin 2-56)
IRELAND: 260 for 6 in 49 overs (Stirling 20, Balbirnie 145 not out, O'Brien 21, Dockrell 54; Zadran 2-52)
Result: Ireland won by four wickets and 5-match series level 1-1.
Player-of-the-match: Andy Balbirnie.