Well the cricketing world has so far seen the Pakistani hard hitting batsman - Shahid Afridi as only a blind slogger of the cricket ball rather than a batsman who would play a calculated innings. But, as a matter of surprise, it was the same slogger who took his team to the zenith when they faced Sri Lanka in their first encounter of the Asia cup at Dambulla yesterday. It was really interesting to see that Shahid Afridi played one of the innings of his life when the lonely handled the Sri Lankan bowlers despite there being no support from the other ends.
Even today, the fact is that Shahid Afridi is a blind slogger of the ball though the batsman has two out of the top five fastest hundreds against his name in one day cricket. In addition to the fact that Shahid Afridi played a calculated innings, the other interesting thing to be noticed is that Shahid Afridi took to the crease at number six after the dismissal of Shoaib Malik. The entire Pakistani innings consisted of 7 sixes, all of which were hit by none other than Shahid Afridi. While, the entire match saw just 8 hits out of the ground and the next is needless to be said.
There have been batsmen like Sanath Jayasuriya, Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds who are big hitters and at the same time play a calculated and responsible innings and as a result of the same, the team can rely upon such players which confirms their position not only in the team but also in the playing XI squad. But, with the most important thing missing in Afridi, one has to wonder as to how on earth did Shahid Afridi manage to play more than 250 one day matches. Leaving that apart, one has to wonder even more as to what on earth makes the selection to go in for Afridi even when selecting a test team!
Whatever, this time as a rare case, Afridi could manage what he couldn't in all these days of his cricketing life when he played one of the innings of his life with the wicket hardly supporting the batsmen no matter to which team they belonged. A target of 243 was in no way a non chasable one for either of the team and more so for Pakistan. No other player from Pakistan managed even one fourth of what Afridi could. This I consider as the one more than his 37 ball hundred he scored against Sri Lanka and the 45 ball century he scored against India in 2005. For, those were on batsmen friendly pitches and without any sort of pressure.