Shahid Afridi rolled back the years to record his first-ever T20 century as Kyle Abbott’s Hampshire qualified for the Natwest T20 Blast semi-finals.
The quarter-finals of England’s domestic T20 competition got under way on Tuesday night, and Hampshire were the first to book their place in the final four, courtesy of a huge 101-run victory over Derbyshire.
Derbyshire were always going to be up against it, as they are statistically the worst side in the history of the tournament with just two quarter-final appearances. Hampshire reached their seventh semi-final in eight years, and it was thanks to their 37-year-old Pakistani all-rounder.
World-renowned as one of the most destructive hitters in the game and boasting 256 T20s of experience, Afridi remarkably brought up three figures for the first time in his career in Derby. Tasked with the unfamiliar role of opening the batting, Afridi slammed seven sixes and 10 fours for his 43-ball 101, which included four boundaries in the first over.
His epic was backed up by 55 from James Vince as Hants plowed their way to 249-8. Hardus Viljoen and Imran Tahir struggled with respective figures of 0-46 and 0-42 from their allotted overs.
Derbyshire were never in it, and Capetonian Gareth Berg and Abbott played big roles in that. Opening the bowling, Berg picked up a wicket three balls into his spell, before claiming figures of 1-15 from three overs. A miserly 3-25 then followed from Abbott, dismissing the South African trio of Wayne Madsen, Viljoen and Tahir to wrap up the huge victory.
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