Shahid Afridi finally breaks jinx with record knock in NatWest T20 Blast
Shahid Afridi broke a long-standing jinx in Twenty20 cricket as he blasted a record breaking century to guide Hampshire to victory over Derbyshire in the ongoing NatWest T20 Blast.cricket Updated: Aug 23, 2017 16:37 IST
There is a reason why Shahid Afridi is called ‘Boom Boom’. His big hitting can decimate opponents and can change the course of the match. During his nearly 20-year long international career, Afridi produced some marvellous knocks that changed the perception of big-hitting.
Following his international retirement, Afridi showed the world that his big hitting prowess had not diminished. During the NatWest T20 Blast encounter between Hampshire and Derbyshire, the former Pakistan skipper -- representing Hampshire -- broke a long standing jinx in the shortest format of the game.
Before this match, Shahid Afridi had played 255 T20s but a hundred always eluded him. In the game against Derbyshire, -- his 256th match and 222nd innings -- Afridi finally broke the hoodoo as his 42-ball ton helped Hampshire to 249/8 and a 101-run win over Derbyshire, with Kyle Abbott taking 3/25. Afridi’s exploits shattered a couple of records in the process.
The former Pakistan all-rounder registered a century in his 222nd innings, the most number of innings taken by a player in his format. In his 42-ball 101, Afridi smashed seven sixes to become the first Pakistan player in the history of the format to go past 200 sixes in Twenty20s. The overall record is held by Chris Gayle with 752 sixes.
Afridi’s 42-ball century is the second fastest by a Pakistan player in T20s, behind Ahmed Shehzad -- who scored a 40-ball century for Barisal Burners against Duronto Rajshahi in the 2011/12 Bangladesh Premier League.
Hampshire’s 249/8 was the fourth highest total in a Twenty20 in England, behind Yorkshire’s 260/4 against Northants in Leeds in 2017, Gloucestershire’s 254/3 against Middlesex in 2011 and Somerset’s 250/3 against Gloucestershire in Taunton in 2006.
Shahid Afridi’s maiden century in Twenty20s comes as a surprise if one looks at his prowess in ODIs. In 1996, the dashing batsman made an impact on the world stage when he blasted a record 37-ball century against Sri Lanka in Nairobi. It was a record that stood for 17 years before New Zealand’s Corey Anderson broke it by blasting a 36-ball century against the West Indies in Queenstown in 2013.
Afridi also held the record for the second fastest century when he walloped a 45-ball century in Kanpur against India. His big-hitting prowess in ODIs demoralised opponents on plenty of occasions during his international career.
On Tuesday, Afridi turned the clock back and performed in a way that had made him one of the most feared batsman in limited-overs cricket.
First Published: Aug 23, 2017 16:32 IST