The best of Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi is ready for another chapter in his stellar career, after the Pakistan international was announced as a Hampshire player for the 2016 NatWest T20 Blast season.

The 35-year-old will be available for the entire T20 Blast campaign, and is sure to thrill crowds in his usual swashbuckling style.

Here charts the all-rounder’s best career moments to date.

1. A dazzling debut

In October 1996, a 16-year-old Afridi started as he meant to go on. In his very first one-day international innings, he smashed a then-world record century in just 37 deliveries, against Sri Lanka. His innings of 102 included 11 sixes and six fours and such was the impact, that it would take more than 17 years for someone to better it, New Zealand’s Corey Anderson taking 36 balls for his ton in early 2014 against West Indies.

2. Tailor made for T20

Afridi’s ability to change an innings with big hits was apparent right from the start. His leg-spin, on the other hand, came slightly later, but had no less an impact. He proved as much by being named player of the tournament at the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa, even though Pakistan lost in the final to arch-rivals India. Afridi finished with 12 wickets to his name in that campaign, joint-second in the overall list.

3. Glory at last

Afridi was not to be denied a world title, having watched his Pakistan idols lift the 50-over crown in 1992. The all-rounder fittingly smashed an unbeaten half-century at Lord’s in the 2009 final against Sri Lanka to help seal an eight-wicket win. He was again among the top wicket-takers, and his performances also included a half-century and two scalps in the semi-final against South Africa.

4. Previous with Hampshire

Afridi helped Hampshire’s surge towards the semi-finals of the 2011 T20 campaign, and very nearly carried his side into the final as well. His half-century at the Edgbaston semi-final came off just 28 balls, and he went on to score 80. Perhaps fittingly, the game was tied in the end on duckworth-lewis, as Somerset then broke Hampshire hearts in the super-over.

5. Best for the last

Afridi got yet another taste of finals day in England, this time with Northamptonshire in 2015. Having made it into the final, Afridi duly produced the goods against Lancashire, taking 3-14 including scalping James Faulkner and Liam Livingstone in successive deliveries. Afridi also smashed two fours and a six for his 26 in the run chase, though Northants Steelbacks eventually fell short by 13.

Source: ECB

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