Pakistan v New Zealand: Shaheen Afridi stars in another accomplished display

Waseem Ahmed 23:00 09/11/2018
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Pakistan bounced back strongly from their loss in the first ODI to hand New Zealand a convincing six-wicket defeat in the second match of the series at Abu Dhabi on Friday.

The men in green restricted the visitors to 209-9 in their 50 overs before their batsmen set up a comfortable chase to win with almost 10 overs to spare.

One of the chief architects of Pakistan’s big win on Friday was young pacer Shaheen Afridi who finished with figures of 4-38. Here, we take a closer look at the 18-year-old’s stellar bowling display.

STATISTICS

OVERS BOWLED: 9

RUNS CONCEDED: 38

WICKETS: 4

MAIDENS: 1

ECONOMY-RATE: 4.22

30-SECOND REPORT

Sharing the new-ball duties along with Faheem Ashraf, Afridi started his spell with the big wicket of Colin Munro in his very first over after being hit for a big six off his previous delivery. In his next over, Afridi played a crucial part in proceedings as New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was run-out at the non-striker’s end off his bowling.

In his second spell, the teenager castled the dangerous Tom Latham with a searing in-swinging yorker before also accounting for Ish Sodhi in similar fashion in the death overs with a slow off-cutter.

A second impressive outing on the bounce for the youngster.

A second impressive outing on the bounce for the youngster.

GOT RIGHT

The youngster got the ball to move away from the left-handers in the early part of his spell and showed remarkable composure to come back and dismiss the in-form Munro after being swatted for a six. When the movement died down, Afridi made sure to attack the stumps and that paid dividends in the form of two batsmen being bowled. In the death overs, the youngster mixed things up nicely with some subtle variations like off-cutters which helped him snare the wicket of Sodhi.

His pinpoint yorker with a hint of late movement to uproot Latham’s stumps was reminiscent of a certain Wasim Akram in full flight.

Perfect execution of the yorker by young Afridi.

Perfect execution of the yorker by young Afridi.

GOT WRONG

While he did generate some movement with the new ball, there were times that Afridi was wayward with his lines, allowing the batsmen too much room to free their arms. Other than that, the left-armer was generally spot on with his application. Despite leaking a couple of boundaries initially, Afridi managed to keep things tight with his economy-rate too.

VERDICT – 9/10

For the second match in a row, Afridi has delivered for his skipper with a four-wicket haul. The youngster was the best of Pakistan’s bowlers on the night and continues to grow in stature in international cricket despite his age. The ODI series has just been a continuation of Afridi’s sterling displays in the three T20s as he continues to show confidence and maturity that belies his age.

The only grievance is that Sarfraz Ahmed has refrained from letting him complete his quota of 10 overs in both ODIs so far despite Afridi being Pakistan’s best bowler.

Still, if Afridi keeps up these impressive displays, a bright future awaits the young pacer as well as Pakistan.

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