How Shaheen Afridi rewrote the Hampshire record books with his 6-19 T20 Blast spell against Middlesex
Shaheen Shah Afridi’s remarkable end to an otherwise miserable Hampshire debut season resulted in him rewriting the county’s record books.
The Pakistan international fast bowler arrived at The Ageas Bowl with high hopes.
But in his first six T20 Blast appearances he only returned combined figures of 1-191 and was in danger of going down as one of Hampshire’s worst overseas signings.
But all that changed on Sunday when the 20-year-old took the last four Middlesex wickets in four deliveries to finish with stunning figures of 6-19.
In clean bowling John Simpson, Stephen Finn, Thilan Walallawita and Tim Murtagh, Afridi established a host of records.
He was the first player to ever take four wickets in successive deliveries in an English county T20 match. They were Hampshire’s best-ever T20 figures, beating Dimi Mascarenhas’ 5-14 against Sussex at Hove in 2004. Afridi is only the second Hampshire bowler to take a T20 hat-trick, the first was also Mascarenhas against Sussex at Hove 16 years ago. They were the fourth best figures in English T20 history, behind Colin Ackermann’s 7-18 (for Leicestershire against Warwickshire in 2019), Arul Suppiah’s 6-5 (for Somerset against Glamorgan in 2011) and Tim Southee’s 6-16 (for Essex against Glamorgan, also in 2011). Tim Bresnan also took 6-19 in a Roses match for Yorkshire against Lancashire at Headingley three years ago. He is only the eighth bowler to take six wickets in an English T20 game since the format was founded in 2003 - the last was current Ageas Bowl all-rounder James Fuller, who bagged 6-28 for Middlesex AGAINST Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl two years ago. Afridi’s 6-19 return has only been bettered 20 times in the history of T20 cricket anywhere in the world. Afridi’s figures are the second best in a limited-overs game in Hampshire’s history, and the best against another first class county. Only Peter Sainsbury’s 7-30 in a Gillette Cup tie against Norfolk in 1965 eclipses his performance in Hampshire’s T20 Blast finale at the weekend. Afridi is only the ninth man to bag six wickets for Hampshire in a limited-overs game. He joins Sainsbury, Trevor Jesty - the only man to do it twice - Simon Renshaw, Stuart Clark, John Stephenson, Kevan James, Shane Warne and Liam Dawson.
Afridi’s 6-19 wasn’t a career limited overs best, though - in January 2018 he bagged 6-15 playing for Pakistan in an Under-19 World Cup group game against Ireland.
Afridi’s career best figures remain the 8-39 he took on his first class debut aged just 17 in September 2017 for Khan Research Laboratories against Rawalpindi in Pakistan’s domestic Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. Remarkably, Afridi has still only played 17 first class games in his life - and 11 of them have been Test matches!