World Cup 2023 countdown: Shaheen Afridi rattles Bangladesh with a 6-fer

With less than a month remaining for the ODI World Cup 2023, we take a look at a historic performance from Shaheen Afridi in the 2019 World Cup.

With less than a month remaining for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 we bring you some of the most memorable matches and moments from previous World Cups. In this article, we will take a look at a record-breaking performance from Pakistani fast-bowling sensation, Shaheen Afridi in the 2019 World Cup.

World Cup 2019: Pakistan vs Bangladesh

It was the last group-stage game for both Pakistan and Bangladesh. Even though it was nearly impossible for this match to impact the team’s rankings on the points table, the Pakistani bowlers were fired up, particularly Shaheen. Shaheen did not just record the best bowling figures for a Pakistani bowler in the World Cup he even became the youngest bowler ever to take a five-wicket haul in the World Cup. On the day of the game, the left-arm fast bowler was just 19 years and 90 days old. He recorded the figures of 6/35.

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Pakistan after winning the toss elected to bat first and showcased a great performance. Imam-ul-Haq scored a century, Babar Azam scored 96 and Imad Wasim scored 43 runs in just 26 balls to propel Pakistan to a total of 315 at the halfway mark. With the ball in hand, Pakistani bowlers put a brake on the scoring rate of the Bangladeshi batters in the powerplay. Below is the list of Shaheen’s six scalps.

Tamim Iqbal

Tamim Iqbal was bowled by a very unlike Shaheen Afridi delivery. The left-arm pacer who is known for his pace bowled a slower delivery at a speed of just 121 kph. The full-length delivery was on the off-stump and Tamim was very early with his straight drive. 

Litton Das

Shaheen struck with his first ball of a new spell. It was a cross-seam delivery that brought about the dismissal of Litton Das. Pitched on 5th stumps, Litton was enticed to play a cover drive but failed to keep it down as he gave an easy catch to Haris Sohail stationed at cover. Sohail barely moved to his left to take a simple catch at waist height.

Shakib Al Hasan

This was Shaheen’s biggest wicket of the game. Shakib Al Hasan had already showcased one of the best batting performances at the World Cup if not the best. He had already scored six 50+ scores in the tournament before this game and once again scored a half-century in the ongoing match. It was a pace-on delivery to which Shakib replied by trying to cut it square. The Bangladeshi all-rounder was beaten for pace and extra bounce as he edged the ball straight to the wicketkeeper, Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Mohammad Saifuddin

Mohammad Saifuddin was dismissed for a golden duck as another Bangladeshi batter fell to a cover drive. Saifudding played a decent cover drive but lacked elevation and gave another simple catch to the cover fielder. This time it was Mohammad Amir who took a catch to his left on knee-height.

Mahmudullah

Just two balls later to Saifuddin’s dismissal, Mahmadullah was done by a reverse-swinging yorker. The 142 kph delivery castled the stumps as Shaheen Afridi became the youngest-ever bowler to take a five-wicket haul in the World Cup.

Mustafizur Rahman

The last player to be dismissed was Mustafizur Rahman and it was the perfect combination of deliveries for a number 11 batter. Shaheen started the over with a bouncer down the leg side which was called a wide. He followed the bouncer with a yorker which was too good for Mustafizur. He was bowled as Shaheen took the 6th wicket and recorded the best bowling figures by a Pakistani in a World Cup. 

Conclusion

Shaheen Afridi’s astonishing performance against Bangladesh remains a testament to the sheer brilliance and potential of young cricketing talents. As Pakistan and Bangladesh clashed in a seemingly inconsequential group-stage match, it was Shaheen who stole the spotlight with his exceptional bowling prowess. His remarkable figures of 6/35 not only secured a win for Pakistan but also etched his name as the youngest bowler to achieve a five-wicket haul in a World Cup.

The game was a perfect blend of excellence with both bat and ball. Pakistan’s top-order batsmen delivered an impressive performance, setting a formidable target of 315 runs. However, it was Shaheen’s spell that truly defined the match. His wickets, including the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmadullah, showcased his versatility and skill as a fast bowler. As we eagerly await the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, we can only hope for more such breathtaking moments that make cricket the sport we all cherish and adore.

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