Shahid Afridi, Pakistan’s star performer in international cricket, celebrates his birthday today.
Shahid Afridi has represented Pakistan in 27 Test, 398 ODIs and 99 T20 International matches. He is one of the three all-rounders in the world who have scored 10,000 international runs and taken 500 international wickets after Jacque Kallis and before Shakib Al Hasan.
To celebrate his birthday, with his age still not clear, we look at his top performances in his white-ball career.
Take a look!
Shahid Afridi’s top performances
Shahid Afridi was mostly known for his performances in ODI and T20I cricket. He has picked 395 ODI wickets, Pakistan’s third-highest and fifth overall, while he is the second-highest wicket-taker in T20Is in the world with 98.
One Day Internationals
1. 2011 World Cup performance
The 2011 Cricket World Cup was his greatest highlights for him. He was the joint-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with India’s Zaheer Khan with 21 wickets. He became the first player in the World Cup’s history to take four or more wickets in three consecutive games. He led Pakistan to the semi-finals, where they lost to eventual winners India.
2. 75 & 5-35 vs Sri Lanka, 2011
In the ODI series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan were bowled out for 200 in the fourth ODI with Afridi top scored. Sri Lanka were cruising at 155-3 and they just needed 45 runs to win. Even the commentator Russell Arnold said that “Not even prayers will save Pakistan.”
What followed was a performance which regarded as the one of the greatest all-round show. Afridi picked 5 wickets that bowled Sri Lanka out for 174 runs, crushing them to series defeat.
3. 102 vs India, 2005
Afridi’s personal favourite performance. Against India he scored a sensational hundred, taking 45 balls to reach an ODI hundred. He blasted 10 fours and nine sixes, hitting 102 of an opening stand of 131 with Salman Butt in 14.2 overs, to set the platform for a successful chase of 250 to beat India and seal a series comeback win with one game to spare.
4. 34* vs India, 2014 Asia Cup
This will go down as fans’ favourite Afridi performance. Shahid Afridi was at the crease when Saeed Ajmal was bowled by Ravi Ashwin in the Asia Cup. By that time, Pakistan needed 10 runs from five balls with one wicket in hand. Junaid Khan took the most crucial single to give Afridi the strike. What was followed was history.
5. 76 & 7-12 vs West Indies, 2013
Afridi produced arguably his best all-round performance against West Indies in 2013. He scored a 55-ball 76 that took Pakistan to 224 for nine. Then the leg-spinner took the final seven wickets for just 12 runs in nine brilliant overs as the West Indies were all-out for just 98. It became the second-best bowling figures in ODI history.
Shahid Afridi made 76 and picked up 5 wickets, to become the only player in ODI history to perform this feat thrice.
1. 54* & 1-20 vs Sri Lanka, 2009 World T20 Final
Shahid Afridi played a crucial role in Pakistan’s biggest win in 2009. Against Sri Lanka, he took 1-20 in his four overs as Pakistan restricted Sri Lanka to 138 before he smashed an unbeaten 54, including a winning runs, to give Pakistan their first-ever ICC World T20 final.
2. 2007 World T20 performance
Though Pakistan lost the 2007 inaugural edition of ICC World T20, he was declared as the “Player of the tournament” when he picked 12 wickets, the joint second-highest wicket-taker, along with some of his cameo batting performances.
3. 51 & 2-16 vs South Africa, 2009 World T20 semi-final
Yet another major performance in the 2009 World T20. It was the semi-final between South Africa and Pakistan where the Proteas had restricted Pakistan to 28-2. Shahid Afridi came and scored 51 from 34 balls, and surprisingly without any sixes, to take the total to 149. Then with the ball, he picked massive wickets of AB de Villiers and Herschelle Gibbs to end the game as the player of the match.
4. 4-14 vs New Zealand, 2010
During the New Zealand tour, Pakistan had lost the series and they geared up for the final game. Pakistan scored 184. Afridi then picked four crucial wickets in his spell of 4-14. One of the wickets, of Tim Southee, was the quickest he ever bowled. It was recorded as 134 km.
5. 45 & 1-30 vs Sri Lanka, 2015
In the final T20I match of the 2015 tour, Sri Lanka scored 172 and had restricted Pakistan to 40-5. Then captain Afridi joins in the middle and straight away unsettled Sri Lanka’s bowlers. He scored 45 from 22 balls. He was dismissed but Anwer Ali, who everyone remembers his knock, finished the game with his 46 from 17 balls.
Which has been your favourite Afridi performance?
Read more: Did Shahid Afridi revealed his real age?
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