Shafiqullah of Pakhtoons delighted the crowd in the T10 League at the Sharjah Stadium by playing the ‘Shafiscoop’ on three occasions, twice it cleared the ropes, with ease but it was his teammate Andre Fletcher who took the match away from Rajputs with a crackling unbeaten 68 to power them past Rajputs.
Chasing 122 to win, Pakhtoons, who lost their first match to Kerala Knights, reached their target in 9.4 overs and nine wickets in hand.
Fletcher struck six fours and five sixes during his 27-ball stay at the wicket, while Shafiqullah was unbeaten on 29 from 18 balls (1 four and three sixes) and Cameron Delport chipped in with 22 from 14 balls (2 fours, 1 six).
Earlier, a lot was expected from Rajputs’ Mohammad Shahzad who struck an unbeaten 74 in 16 balls to set up a 10-wicket win for Rajputs, one the new teams in the expanded second campaign of the 10-over competition.
He and Brendon McCullum, who contributed 21 to the stand, hit 96 in four overs, meaning remarkably they had six of the 10 overs to spare when victory was sealed.
The 36 balls left unused matched the number of runs Shahzad was short of a century, suggesting it might have been on if the innings had run its full course.
Captain Shahid Afridi introduced himself into the attack and was welcomed with a six by Rossouw. But the former Pakistan captain got his revenge in the very next ball when Rossouw tried to sweep him and was bowled.
The South African, however, had done enough damage by hitting four sixes during his 25-ball stay at the wicket which came off only seven balls and consisted of four big sixes.
McCullum almost carried his bat through only to lose his stumps to the tall Mohammad Irfan in the second-last ball of the innings. By then his 58 from 28 balls (3 fours and 4 sixes) and Laurie Evans’ 27 from 19, which had two sixes and an equal number of fours, gave Rajputs a total of 121 for 3 which in the end proved short by 15 runs.
One of the best moment of Match was the bizarre battle between Sohail Khan and Mohammad Shahzad.
Sohail Khan was bowling to Mohammad Shahzad while he trolled Afghani hard-hitter and on the next ball Mohammad Shahzad hit him for a big SIX and trolled back.
Pakistani Sohail Khan didn’t take a while to hit back and on the last ball he took the wicket of Mohammad Shahzad and hugged him from the back.
Shahzad holed out to Shahid Afridi, the Pakhtoons’ skipper. The crowd would’ve been disappointed for the fact the star batsman perished early.
In the meantime, a funny incident panned out. After his dismissal, Sohail hilariously poked fun at Shahzad and also grabbed him by his bulging belly. The batter didn’t retaliate and seemed to have liked the gesture.