In a remarkable display of skill and pace, Pakistan’s star bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi achieved a historic milestone during the ICC World Cup 2023 clash against Bangladesh. He became the fastest pacer in ODI cricket to claim 100 wickets, surpassing the previous record held by Mitchell Starc. This momentous achievement has not only etched his name in the annals of cricket history but also drew comparisons with legendary pacer Wasim Akram.
Shaheen Afridi accomplished this incredible feat in just 51 innings, outshining Mitchell Starc, who reached the 100-wicket mark in 52 innings. The left-arm speedster entered the match against Bangladesh with 99 wickets to his name, and it didn’t take him long to reach the coveted century. In the very first over, he dismissed Tanzid Hasan for a mere five-ball duck, setting the stage for a remarkable day.
A Glimpse of Wasim Akram
What further added luster to this milestone was Shaheen Afridi’s striking resemblance to the legendary Wasim Akram. In the 30th over of the Bangladesh innings, Afridi pitched a delivery on a good length, between the middle and off stump. The ball sneaked through Mahmudullah’s defenses, hitting the middle stump, in a manner reminiscent of Akram’s famous dismissal of former England batter Alan Knott during the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992. This evoked nostalgia and admiration among cricket enthusiasts.
A Double Milestone
Shaheen Afridi’s achievement is twofold, as he not only claimed the title of the fastest pacer to reach 100 ODI wickets but also became the fastest Pakistani bowler to accomplish this feat. He outpaced the legendary spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, who took 53 innings. This dual milestone showcases the extraordinary talent and potential that Afridi possesses.
The Match Overview
While the spotlight was on Shaheen Afridi’s record-breaking performance, it’s important to note that the entire Pakistan bowling unit shone brightly in the match against Bangladesh. They bowled with precision and pace, skittling out the Bangladeshi batting lineup for a meager 204. Mahmudullah emerged as the highest scorer for Bangladesh with a resilient 70-ball 56, while Litton Das and skipper Shakib Al Hasan contributed significantly but couldn’t propel their team to a competitive total.
Shaheen Afridi’s remarkable journey to becoming the fastest pacer to claim 100 ODI wickets is a testament to his exceptional talent and dedication. This feat not only places him in the echelons of cricketing greats but also rekindles memories of legends like Wasim Akram.