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[Watch] Shaheen Afridi Breathes Fire In IL T20 Debut For Desert Vipers; Claims Three Wickets

image-lru3r6u2Shaheen Afridi (X.com)

Pakistan's pace spearhead, Shaheen Shah Afridi, once again made headlines, this time turning up for the Desert Vipers to dismantle the Gulf Giants' batting lineup with a spirited spell of fast bowling, during which he picked up figures of 3/22 in his four-over spell.

Joining the Vipers squad after Pakistan's T20I series against New Zealand, which ended on Sunday (January 21) with Pakistan losing 4-1, Afridi seamlessly transitioned into the competition. His first over included five dot balls to Jamie Smith, who was partnering with English top-order batter James Vince.

Following Mohammad Amir's removal of Captain Vince in the opening over, Afridi returned for his second over against Smith. After delivering an outswinger and conceding a wide, Afridi bowled a splendid third delivery. Pitched on a length and angled across Smith, the right-hander attempted a forceful shot across the line, missing completely as the ball crashed into the stumps.

Afridi celebrated with his trademark arms-outstretched gesture, and his teammates joined in to congratulate him. After completing two overs in his initial spell, he returned for his second spell, claiming the other two wickets. These crucial wickets were taken during the slog overs when the Giants aimed to accelerate. In the 17th over, Jordon Cox, well-set until then, fell to Shaheen's delivery while attempting to clear the long-on boundary. 

In the all-important 19th over, Shaheen outfoxed Chris Jordan with a well-disguised slower delivery, concluding an exceptional bowling performance, expected from a world-class bowler like Shaheen.

WATCH: Shaheen shines in ILT20 debut

Although Shaheen missed the first game due to national duties, he made a remarkable debut, standing out with excellent performance, securing three wickets in four overs while conceding runs below 6 rpo. Hasaranga, in partnership with Adam Hose, contributed 57 runs in 33 deliveries for the third wicket. 

Afzal Khan then added a brisk, unbeaten 26 off 14 balls, including three boundaries and a six. Together with Hose, who scored a composed 39 off 35 balls with four boundaries.

The Vipers clinched the victory with eight balls to spare, thanks mainly to Hasaranga's quickfire 42 off 19 balls, laced with four boundaries and two sixes. With this win, Vipers rose from the bottom of the table to the fourth position.