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

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Another stellar display from the young Pakistan pacer.

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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Rashid Khan itching to deliver for Durban Heat in Mzansi Super League

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A new challenge awaits for Rashid Khan.

The inaugural Mzansi Super League is fast approaching and one of the key men adding to the star quotient of the South African T20 league will be Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan.

The wily leg-spinner will be turning out for Durban Heat in the competition which gets underway on November 16. Ranked as the No1 bowler in the T20I format, the Afghan man cannot wait to get started for his new franchise in what will be his first playing experience on South African soil.

“I am so excited to be playing in the first edition of the Mzansi Super League. I have never played cricket in South Africa before and I have only heard great things,” the 20-year-old was quoted as saying by Cricket365.

“It is going to be a new environment for me but I think that my experience of playing in different conditions will enable me to adapt to the situation and conditions,” he added.

The Afghan sensation will link up with Proteas stalwarts Hashim Amla and David Miller for Durban Heat and the wrist-spinner is eager to make the most of his time along with the experienced stars.

“The beauty of T20 franchise cricket is the world-class players that you play with and against,” he said.

“To be playing with the likes of Hashim (Amla) and David (Miller) is great and I look forward to joining up with them and the rest of the team.”

Having enjoyed success in almost every single franchise league he has played for, Rashid is ready to adapt and deliver for his latest outfit.

“I’ve got to number one by sticking to my game plan and that is what I will always do,” he stated.

“T20 is a game that can change very quickly and not every game is going to go your way, and I will just do my best to try and win matches for my team.”

Rashid’s side will be in action for the first time on November 18 when they take on Cape Town Blitz at the Kingsmead stadium in Durban.

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India opt to rest Bumrah and Kuldeep for final T20 v West Indies

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Bumrah will not feature for India in the final T20.

India have handed a rest to Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Umesh Yadav for the third and final T20 against the West Indies to be held on Sunday at Chennai.

The hosts have already clinched the three-match series after their seven-run win at Lucknow in the second T20. With the trophy secured, the team management has opted to rest key players, keeping the upcoming tough tour of Australia in mind.

With Bumrah and Umesh taking a back seat, India have added medium pacer Siddarth Kaul for the final T20. He, along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed, will provide the fast-bowling options for stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma.

Kaul had last turned out for India in the recent Asia Cup held in the UAE.

Kuldeep has featured in both the T20s so far following his exertions in the ODIs, where he played all but one game of the five-match series. With him absent for the side, India still have the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Krunal Pandya, Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar to choose from in the spin department.

Bumrah had featured in the two T20 matches as well while Umesh made an appearance in the series opener.

India captured the two-match Test series 2-0 before notching a 3-1 series victory in the subsequent ODIs against the Windies.

INDIA SQUAD FOR THIRD T20

Rohit Sharma (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Shahbaz Nadeem.

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