'Age is just a number' - probably, there is no other cricketer than Shahid Afridi who justifies this proverb time and again on the 22-yard strip. The former Pakistan captain set the stage on fire in the inaugural edition of the T10 League by picking up a brilliant hat-trick. Playing for Pakhtoons, the 37-year old notched up three wickets, in his first three deliveries against Maratha Arabians. His impressive performance helped the Pakistan based franchise to register a comfortable 25-run over Arabians captained by Virender Sehwag. Afridi failed with the bat but his fine bowling (3/19 from 2 overs) gave the Sharjah crowd their money's worth.
Another record in #T10Cricket, First ever hat-trick by @SAfridiOfficial in shortest format of the cricket. This is how he dismissed Rossouw, Bravo & Sehwag. Must say it was his day, treat to watch!!! pic.twitter.com/fHkRQk8lCV— Syed Raza Mehdi (@SyedRezaMehdi) December 14, 2017
Afridi's victims were Rilee Rossouw, Dwayne Bravo and Maratha skipper Sehwag. The veteran Pakistan all-rounder first removed Rilee Rossouw, then he trapped Dwane Bravo right in front and Virender Sehwag fell in similar fashion in the following ball. Batting first, the Afridi-led Pakhtoons managed 121/6 from their 10 overs. In reply, Sehwag's Arabians could only manage 96 from their full quota of overs and lost seven wickets in the process.
Interestingly, it was not a dream start for the Pakhtoons who were restricted to 7/2 in the very first over but they rallied back through quick-fire forties from Fakhar Zaman and Liam Dawson who knitted a crucial 80-run stand. The left-handed Zaman remained unbeaten on 45 and got support at the other end from Dawson who played an important 44-run knock. Imad Wasim took the two wickets from the allowed two overs.
For Maratha's - Kamran Akmal and Lendl Simmons failed to provide any fireworks with the bat and were back in the pavilion in just two overs. England's Alex Hales smashed 30 off 12 balls and brought the Arabians back into the game. But none other Arabians' batsmen apart from Hales managed to stay in the middle as they fell short by 25 runs.
Some famous names from the cricket world including - Virender Sehwag, Mohammed Amir, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Alex Hales were signed up by six teams for the T10 league in Sharjah between December 14-17. Earlier, the former Indian opener Sehwag had backed the idea of T10 cricket and said that the ICC could think of this format if they want the sport to be in the Olympics.