Shahid Afridi is still in form

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Every batsman suffers the ebb and flow of form. Most will alter their approach when out of form, taking fewer risks in the knowledge that they aren’t middling it. Shahid Afridi never alters his approach and being as his approach amounts to little more than essaying wild, body-convulsing heaves at pretty much every delivery he faces, form has a sizeable impact on his returns.

Out of form, Shahid Afridi gets out. And he gets out quickly. In form, he scores at almost unimaginable speed. On Sunday, he took his time and hit 34 off 18 balls. Today, he notched a half-century in the same number of deliveries, hitting seven sixes. After nine deliveries, he was on 35, after which he chilled out a bit.

It was the second-fastest 50 in the history of one-day internationals and it was the third time he’d scored one that quickly. He also has one off 19 deliveries, two off 20 deliveries, one off 21 deliveries and one off 22 deliveries.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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    1. three illegal full-tosses, then pulled out of the attack by the umpire… one also resulted in a run, and the third in a boundary

      (coming soon to a cricket trivia quiz near you!)

    2. To be fair that second no ball was below shoulder high (in a standing position) and probably should have been paid as a wicket. His figures should read 0.1 0 7 1

    1. i can’t remember this one either. have the feeling it was pretty recent though and not necessarily anyone who leap to mind (?)

      set us all straight please!

    2. Benevolent uncle Sanath – 17 ball 50 vs Pakistan in 1996

    3. I clicked it, I clicked it. I always click your links, KC. I think they’re all great.

  1. I once swung a croquet mallet so hard it that it slipped from my hands and landed on the roof of my friend’s house (whose party it was). To date, that remains my biggest shot.

    1. My biggest shot in a match was caught at square leg. My biggest in the nets went flying over the road into my then school. I don’t count tennis ball cricket, otherwise the one that went over the fence and landed under a moving ambulance, bouncing down the road under it, would be it.

      A batsman I wasn’t.

  2. The fact that Afridi struggled with cramp towards the end of his innings is amazing. He faced 25 balls.

  3. Boom! Boom! Afridi!

    The style of his batting is basically madness, looks pretty ungainly with his shots, but so bloody brilliant at turning a game on it’s head with bat or ball. I love watching him play. His debut

    His gloriously checkered career makes him even more loveable… some roguish behaviour and some blatant cheating

    – how old is he? really? When he was “17” Boycott called him out on air… I automatically love anyone that pisses off Boycs

    – the old “pretending to be a spin bowler, but bowling medium pace” act.
    (his quicker ball at the start of his career was a medium-fast yorker with the keeper standing up). I used to pull that trick in backyard cricket all the time!

    – he pissed off KP by doing a pirouette mid-pitch while everyone else was crapping themselves thinking a bomb had gone off in the stands. Boom! Boom! feels no fear or shame, like Chuck Norris

    – Boom! Boom! eats balls for breakfast… wait that sounds a little homo-erotic, let me rephrase… he gnaws on cricket balls to sharpen his teeth

    – he doesn’t need a coach “I am better off coaching myself”;objects=726065,725903,725849,725949,726079;type=news;teamSettingId=0;refsource=index

    – his Jesus pose is even more awesome than Flintoffs.

    – he takes a strong stance on match fixing, didn’t fall for the charms of Mazhar Masjid during the “Mo Ball Scandal”
    His prose is haiku-esque when denouncing it.
    “I don’t know about any allegations, but I would say
    ‘Savour the win
    when you have done well
    and forget any other thing'”

    – don’t take crap from spectators, will have a crack himself… must have been mentored by Inzamam ul Huq

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