Shaheen roars past Bumrah with fifer, joins Shahid Afridi in exclusive WC club | Cricket


Shaheen Afridi seemed to have finally put his struggles behind him as he lead a fightback from Pakistan in the last 10 overs against Australia with a five-wicket haul. Australia seemed set to surpass 400 when openers David Warner and Mitchell Marsh scored centuries in a mammoth 259-run opening stand. Afridi broke that partnership and then went on to pick three wickets in the last three overs to complete his five-wicket haul.

Shaheen Afridi helped Pakistan stop Australia from soaring past 400(PTI)
Shaheen Afridi helped Pakistan stop Australia from soaring past 400(PTI)

This was his second World Cup five-wicket haul, having recorded figures of 6/35 against Bangladesh during the 2019 tournament. That makes him just the second Pakistan player after his father-in-law Shahid Afridi to have two World Cup five-wicket hauls to his name. Afridi’s figures of 5/54 on Friday is also the best for any bowler thus far in the 2023 World Cup. New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner has now been pushed down to second on the list, having returned figures of 5/89 against the Netherlands. India’s Jasprit Bumrah’s figures of 4/39 against Afghanistan is third on the hist while England’s Reece Topley’s 4/43 against the Netherlands is fourth. The top five is squared off by Australia’s Adam Zampa, who had returned 4/47 against Sri Lanka.

Australia’s record total against Pakistan

Despite Pakistan taking four wickets for just 27 runs in the last five overs, Australia ended up with a total of 367/9, which is the highest any team have scored against Pakistan in a World Cup match. While Marsh was dismissed by Afridi on 121 off 108 balls, Warner went on to score 163 off just 124 balls.

It was only fourth instance in World Cup history that both openers notched centuries in the same match. Afridi’s five-wicket haul was just a sad reminder as to what other Pakistan bowlers could have done with a bit of thinking on a vastly underwhelming day.

Warner, who was dropped twice on 10 and 105, and Marsh were at their marauding best against a Pakistan attack that lacked direction on a smooth M Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch with a quick outfield adding value to the shots too. They were either too full, too short or strayed on to the legs, and the Aussie batters did not need any second invitation to exploit the flowing freebies. All this could have been a tad different for Pakistan had Usama Mir, who replaced Shadab Khan, held on to a simple skier from Warner off Afridi, the best among Pakistan bowlers this day with his clever variations, inside the ring.


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