Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan’s first strike devastating.

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Shaheen Shah Afridi celebrates after the dismissal of India’s KL Rahul (not pictured) during the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match on October 24, 2021 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai.

Dubai: Standing at 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 meters), Shaheen Shah Afridi, India’s first strike destroyer in the T20 World Cup, is the latest product of Pakistan’s fast bowling factory-left arm division.

From Wasim Akram to Mohammad Aamir, giving hat tips to people like Wahab Riaz and Dev Qamat Mohammad Irfan in recent years, Shaheen proved his star quality in a devastating way on Sunday.

Not to be outdone by inheriting Afridi’s number 10 shirt, along with the name of one of his country’s most famous white-haired pioneers, the 21-year-old smashed India’s hopes with the brilliant magic of fast bowling.

He led Pakistan 3-31 in four overs, eventually ending his jinx against India with his first win in 13 attempts at the World Cup.

Even Indian captain Virat Kohli, who was one of Shaheen’s victims in Sunday’s historic 10-wicket defeat, praised the bowler’s four-over blockbuster.

“In T20 cricket, you need to perform well to take wickets with the new ball and he certainly did,” Kohli said.

“He immediately put pressure on our bowlers with the new ball and ran away with intensity.”

A shiny yorker puts Rohit Sharma on the back foot for the LBW decision as cut and dry.

KL Rahul followed, his T20 International has no match for the average ball speed that slipped through the gate and dropped his stumps.

Shaheen came back to see Kohli in a good way.

– ‘Real Match Winner’ –

It was a big stage performance that echoed the dismissal of fellow left-arm fast bowlers Aamir Sharma, Kohli and Shekhar Dhawan three times in a row in the 2017 Champions Trophy final at the Oval.

Shaheen is one of eight brothers who grew up in the Khyber Pass on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

One of the brothers, Riaz – who played a Test for Pakistan – influenced the spirit of fast bowling.

Shaheen turned to cricket with a tape ball and did not look back.

“He (Riyadh) stays in touch by telephone even when I’m on tour. He’s my first coach,” Shaheen told the ICC in an interview.

Graduating from the Under-19 World Cup in 2018, Shaheen made his first-class debut in Pakistan’s domestic tournament with an 8-39 victory.

He was selected for the Lahore Qalandars in the 2018 Pakistan Super League where he first faced his name Shahid Afridi.

“He hit me six on the first ball in PSL, but I got him out on the next ball. I was very happy with that,” he told cricinfo.com.

Shaheen made his Test debut in December 2018 with a defeat against New Zealand.

But now that he has played 19 Tests, he has taken 76 wickets at an impressive average of over 25 with a fine 10-94 match against the West Indies.

Proving to be a master in all formats, Shaheen scored 6-35 against Bangladesh in the 2019 50 overs World Cup.

In franchise cricket, he won 6-19, including four wickets off four balls, while playing for Hampshire in a T20 game against Middlesex last year.

Not surprisingly, Middlesex has snatched it away for a large part of the 2022 English County season.

Middlesex chief executive Andrew Carnish said Shaheen is a world-class fast bowler and a real match winner.



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