Shaheen Afridi rocks Manchester with devastating new-ball spell in Hundred

Pakistan fast bowler helps Welsh Fire seal rare victory

Shaheen Afridi of Welsh Fire celebrates with teammates after dismissing Laurie Evans of Manchester Originals in their Hundred match at Sophia Gardens. Getty
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Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi was at his best with the new ball once again as he picked up two wickets of his first two balls to help Welsh Fire secure their first Hundred victory since 2021.

In game that was just 40 balls per innings, Manchester Originals fell nine runs short of Welsh Fire's total of 94, despite Jos Buttler's unbeaten 37 off 18 and Max Holden's 37.

The match was set up perfectly by left-arm quick Afridi, while fellow Pakistan bowler Harris Rauf went for just 15 off 10 balls in the middle overs to push Originals on the backfoot.

Welsh Fire were powered by a superb 57 off 23 from opener Luke Wells. It was a memorable day at Sophia Gardens as Welsh Fire started with a win after losing every game last season.

The match was reduced to a planned 40 balls per side in an hour of cricket, with a 10-ball powerplay, following on from the abandonment of the women's game.

Chasing 95 for victory, a lot was going to depend on openers Phil Salt and Jos Buttler as Fire brought in Pakistan opening bowler Afridi to try and reverse their fortunes.

He made an immediate impact. His first ball swung in to trap Salt in front before his second ball was a carbon copy to get rid of Laurie Evans. Holden found the swing easier to cope with as Afridi bowled 10 balls straight, conceding 24.

Buttler started quietly before suddenly announcing himself with 10 runs off two balls from David Payne, before smashing another huge six off Pakistan quick Rauf.

Rauf only went for 15 off his 10 balls, leaving Originals needing 36 off the last 10 balls.

Holden was well caught at deep point by Phillips off the bowling of Willey, but Paul Walter announced his arrival with a huge six over midwicket before departing next ball caught behind. Buttler's late assault was too little too late for Originals.

Updated: August 03, 2023, 8:03 AM