Shahid “Boom Boom” Afridi is in the league of his own when it comes to limited over cricket, his career records does not show the real picture of the talent the guy posses because of his consistant failures throughout his 18 year cricket career. But if we take a look at his individual performances and the kind of impact they had on Pakistan team, its staggering.
To put it in simple words, Pakistan don’t lose when Shahid Afridi performs, be it his swashbuckling batting style or his drifting leg spin. When ever he gets going he takes the game away from opposition in the matter of overs. Lets recape his career and some of the highlights.
List of Records Shahid Afridi Holds
- Second Fastest Century & Fastest Fifties
Shahid Afridi hold the record of fastest odi century for more than 17 years, quite recently Corey Anderson broke his record against West Indies. Afridi scored his century against at that time World Champions Sri lanka of just 37 balls while Anderson scored against West Indies of just 36 balls.
Afridi came close of beating Jaysuria’s record of fastest fifty on many occasions, three time he fall short by just 1 ball as Jaysuriya holds the record by just 17 balls while Afridi has smashed 18 ball fifties 3 times, 1 time on 19 balls, 2 times on 20 balls and quite a few times on 21,22 and 23 balls.
- Highest Strike Rate in ODI
Shahid Afridi holds the heights strike rate in one day international, of all the players who have scored 1000 or more runs Afridi’s 115.46 is by far the heighest striker rate overall.
- Most Sixes in Career:
333 in ODI cricket, 41 in T20 matches and 52 in test matches thats staggering 426 in total which is by far the most next comes Sanath Jayasuriya who has 351 to his name.
- Most Man of the match Awards:
He leads the way in terms of most man of the matches awards in Pakistan cricket history with 32 MOM’s to his name while Saeed Anwar has 28. If we compare overall he is 3rd in the list of most man of the matches awards after Sachin Tendulkar and Santh Jayasuriya who have 62 and 40 respectively.
If we take stats from 2005 to 2014 Afridi is first on the list with 20 man of the matches awards in the world.
- Most Wickets
Afridi has 378 wickets and he needs 22 more wickets to touch the magical 400 wickets in ODI cricket and he will become only the 5th bowler to have achieved that. He is third heighest wicket take from pakistan behind Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram.
ODI Debut & that fastest century in 1996
Shahid Afridi was playing with Pakistan A side in west indies when senior team call came, he was straight away drafted in the playing XI as a specialist leg spinner against Kenya where he did not bat. second match of his career was against World Champions Sri lanka where Pakistan needed to beat them and beat them convingly to get through to the finals. Afridi was sent up the order at no.3 and rest was history. He notched up the fastest ever century in world cricket on just 37 balls including 11 big sixes and 6 fours.
That was one innings which changed the destiny of Afridi’s career, but moreso it had lasting impact on Pakistan cricket. In next few years Pakistan tweaked with the idea of Afridi opening the innings which was pretty much fruitfull at the start but once team’s started to do their homework of Afridi his batting kind of went into a failure zone.
1996-97 Australia Tri Series
His first big test came when pakistan toured Australia, he was part of a very strong team and played 9 out of 10 matches leading to 2-0 win in the best of three finals against West Indies. He performances with the bat were poor making just 159 runs in 9 innings but he saved his best for the final against a quality West Indies team. Pakistan beat West Indies in the two finals and AFridi was the “Player of the Finals”His real contribution was 11 wickets in 9 matches event though he did not got to bowl his full quota of overs. He got Lara’s wickets 3 times in the competition and at that point Pakistan managment should have noticed he is a bowling all-rounder rather than batting one. ( Afridi 50 against west indies in the final >> watch it here
That 141 against india in nail bitter test match ?
Afridi was handed his first test cap against Australia and he got 5 wickets in the first innings he bowled. Than came the big Indian tour, where in the first test match in Chennai Afridi produced probably his best batting display to date when he scored a massive 141 against a good indian bowling attack on pitch which was dowing alot.His 141 was almost half the score pakistan made in 2nd innings which helped pakistan put a good total to defend, Indians played good and even Sachin Tendulkars 136 was not enough to get the home team win. Controversialy Tendulkar was give “man of the match” even though his team had lost.
Ups and downs between 2000 to 2005
After that tour down under, afridi and company played a few home series including that asia cup in pakistan and that the 5 match odi series against India in Toronto he had decent success scoring 1 hundred and 4 fifties in 1998.He was in and out alot in 2000 to 2005, made a few good combacks but eventualy missed out on alot of cricket. That was probably the lowest of his career years.
ICC T20 World Cups 2007 and 2009When T20 cricket was introduced that was tailor-made for Afridi and he guided pakistan to the final of first ever T20 world cup against Indian with some superb bowling performances. Though Pakistan missed out on the final.2 years late Afridi was at it again, he single handedly secured Pakistan a World Cup with two back to back great performances in semifinal against South Africa and than in the final against Sri lanka.