It is unfortunate that Shahid Afridi (Nicknamed Lala and Boom Boom) decides to leave the scene when even some of his diehard fans seem to have had enough of him. The writing was on the wall since long however, he just couldn’t get the timing right as a result of which perhaps he has no one else but himself to blame for an exit that is neither exemplary nor graceful.
Still, there is no denying the fact that Lala over the last two decades has served Pakistan like few others and in the process has left behind memories that for any cricket lover in the country are hard to forget. This article provides a list of top 5 Afridi innings because of which he will always be remembered as a true legend of the game.
5. Pakistan vs South Africa (ICC World T20, 2009-First Semi Final)
The year was 2009 when in England during the second edition of the ICC World T20 Pakistan had somehow just managed to qualify for the semi-final stage. They were up against a formidable Protease side and there seemed little chance of them securing an upset victory.
However, the captain (Younis Khan) promoted Afridi to bat at number 3 and the star all-rounder responded with a quick fire half century that changed the entire complexion of the game and made it easy for Pakistan to topple a much superior opponent.
The game is particularly remembered for that Kallis over where Afridi was able to get the better of him.
Here is what Afridi had to say about the incident during the press conference.
4. Pakistan vs Sri Lanka (ICC World T20, 2009-Final)
Afridi’s crucial innings against Sri Lanka in England during the final match of the second edition of the ICC World T20 is a testament of the fact that despite the unpredictability factor Boom Boom was most definitely a big match player who generally delivered well during pressure games.
His performance with both bat and ball steered Pakistan to T20 world cup glory.
3. Pakistan vs India (First Test Match, 1999)
The year was 1999 and Pakistan were on a high profile tour to India. Afridi by then had been dubbed as player who lacked Test match temperament. Still, on advice of Imran Khan the then captain Wasim Akram not only picked Afridi on the touring squad but also asked him to open during the first Test match of the rubber.
Afridi couldn’t contribute much during the first innings however, he made a strong comeback with the bat in the second innings and scored his first century in the five day version of the game. The innings helped Pakistan in winning the game.
Lala’s over-all performance during the tour left Anil Kumble so frustrated that he reportedly complained to some of the other Pakistani cricketers that Afridi was somebody who neither had regard of his own reputation nor that of the bowler.
2. Pakistan vs India (Asia Cup 2014)
During the Asia Cup, 2014 game against Pakistan in Bangladesh; India seemed to have covered all bases when Pakistan lost its ninth wicket and still required 10 of 5 balls. However, things changed fast and Afridi hit back to back sixes to lead Pakistan towards a famous victory that showed why he was so popular around the globe.
1. Pakistan vs Sri Lanka (KCA Centenary Tournament)
Most cricketers require time to settle down at the international level but Afridi was never like the rest and responded to the pressure of international cricket by hitting a world record fastest century in the very first innings at the One Day International (ODI) level. His performance made him an overnight star and a national hero forever!