Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi was his vintage self as he slammed his maiden T20 century off a mere 42 deliveries which helped Hampshire put up a colossal total of 249 runs. Eventually, Afridi's scintillating innings helped Hampshire cruise into the semis with a 101-run win over Derbyshire.
Shahid Afridi turned back the clock for the Derby crowd as he showcased his splendid power hitting which earned him the name 'Boom Boom' during his international career.
Afridi opened the innings alongside Calvin Dickinson and made his intentions clear at the very onset of his innings itself, smashing Wayne Madsen, who opened the bowling for Derbyshire, for 16 runs in his first over which also proved to be his last over. While Derbyshire managed to keep the Pakistani in check for a couple of overs after that, as things turned out it was just the calm before the storm.
Following the wicket of his opening partner Dickinson, Afridi came into his own and started smashing the ball to literally all parts of the ground. In response, Derbyshire captain Gary Wilson tried every possible bowling combination to counter Afridi's brutal power hitting but the Pakistani was in a different league as even a miscued shot from his bat flew for six as he brought up his half-century off a mere 19 deliveries.
Wilson then brought Imran Tahir into the attack to try and counter Afridi, but the 37-year-old smashed the South African for a mammoth six on the very first delivery he faced to impose his dominance over the World No. 3 T20 bowler. And Afridi continued to wreck havoc scoring at a strike rate of over 250 taking Hampshire's score to 114 at the halfway stage of their innings and thereby setting up the platform for a huge total.
And Tahir once again ended on the receiving end in the 12th over when he was smashed for 16 runs by the all-rounder and with it, Afridi brought up his maiden T20 century off a mere 42 deliveries. However, he was dismissed in the very next over for 101 when he was caught trying to pull a bouncer from Matt Henry over the ropes.
Afridi's power-packed innings helped Hampshire set up a humongous score of 249 at the end of their stipulated 20 overs. In response, the Derbyshire team crumbled under pressure and were reduced to 48/5 in as early as the fifth over and it seemed as if was just a matter of time before the Hampshire bowlers brought the curtains down on the Derbyshire innings. However, the Derbyshire lower-order showed some grit and resilience as they took the match to the last over, but they were eventually bowled out off the second last delivery of the final over to suffer a 101-run loss at the hands of Hampshire who had, in turn, sealed a semifinal berth for themselves.