Fully justifying the team’s decision to promote him as an opener, former Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi turned back the clocks at the 3aaa County Ground with an explosive century which helped Hampshire to thrash Derbyshire by 101 runs to reach the finals day. The 43-year old wreaked havoc with his willow right from ball one, slamming seven sixes and 10 fours to race away to 101 off just 42 balls before Matt Henry ended his stunning assault.
By the time Afridi got out, the scoreboard was reading 146 for 2 off just 12.2 overs and although Hampshire’s innings collapsed towards the end where they lost 5 wickets for just 17 runs, Afridi’s fireworks and James Vince’s 55 off 36 balls and 27 off 11 by George Bailey, helped the batting team to post a mammoth 249 for 8 in the allotted 20 overs. In reply, Derbyshire never looked in contention and were all out for 148 off the penultimate ball of the match as Hampshire made it to the finals day for the seventh time in eight years.
Here is a clip of Shahid Afridi’s devastating knock:
“I asked the captain and coach yesterday if I could bat higher up the order because seven or eight is not my position,” Afridi said after his stunning knock which is also his first century in the shortest form of the game .
“In crucial games you have to take chances. The first six overs are important and you need batters who play aggressively like me to utilise this. I wanted to put pressure on them from the start although it was not easy because the new ball was seaming. The first six overs are important and I tried to start on the attack.
Congratulations to all at @hantscricket Time to go back home to the family for a few days. To all the fans See you all at the finals day.
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) August 22, 2017
“The last time I opened the batting for Hampshire was finals day in 2011 but the main thing is confidence and I felt confident today,” he added.