AFP & Cricket Network
AFP & Cricket Network
Pakistan veteran Shahid Afridi hammers a ton as Hampshire post record total against Derbyshire
Pakistan's Shahid Afridi has blasted 101 from only 43 balls to inspire Hampshire's huge win over Derbyshire in the quarter-finals of England's T20 competition on Tuesday.
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Afridi hit seven sixes and 10 fours to power Hampshire to 8-249, their highest T20 score and the equal-eighth highest of all time.
Skipper James Vince made 55 from 36 balls and Aussie George Bailey 27 from 11 as Hampshire passed their previous best of 2-225 and, faced with an improbable target of 250, the Falcons crumbled in reply as Liam Dawson and Kyle Abbott took three wickets each.
Afridi is the fifth man in T20s to score a century in 42 balls, the equal 12th fastest ever, but he fell well short of Chris Gayle all-time record of a 30-ball ton in 2013.
Afridi revealed that he had managed to convince skipper Vince to move him up to opener having spent most of the season in the lower order.
"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 maiden T20 century.
"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.
"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."
Hampshire promoted Afridi to opener against the county he played for in 2003 and he hit four boundaries from Wayne Madsen's first over before Calvin Dickinson took two fours from Hardus Viljoen.
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Afridi's previous high score this season was just 18 but he pulled Ben Cotton for six before driving him over the top of the three-storey media centre.
He reached his fifty off only 20 balls with a top-edged six but after driving Imran Tahir for another huge six, he was dropped on 65 at long-on by Madsen.
It proved expensive as the man known as Boom Boom dispatched Matt Critchley and Tahir for two more sixes on his way to a blistering hundred before he top-edged another big pull shot and was caught at long-leg.
He was dismissed in just the 13th over but the late fireworks from Vince and Bailey pushed Hampshire's total into record territory.
And Afridi's 101 proved to be literally the difference as Derbyshire were all out for 148 to fall 101 runs short.