Shahid Afridi set to become first bowler to claim 100 T20 wickets106 views
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi, under fire for his recent form with the bat, though could achieve a milestone with the ball in the ongoing World Twenty20, as he is just seven scalps away from becoming the first player to take 100 international wickets in the shortest version of the game.
The swashbuckling allrounder has taken 93 wickets in 94 T20 Internationals, having entered the recently concluded Asia Cup held in Bangladesh on 91 from 90 appearances.
A poor tournament saw Afridi claiming just two wickets in four games, though his economy of 5.66 was fairly good. In the match against India, he did not bowl, while grabbing one wicket against UAE and then another against Bangladesh. He went wicketless against Sri Lanka.
Pakistan have a minimum of four matches in the tournament, with the possibility of the semi-finals should they dominate a tricky Group 2 which consists of India, Australia, New Zealand and a qualifier.
The Green-shirts will open their campaign against Bangladesh in Kolkata on Wednesday. They will face traditional rivals India in a marquee clash at the same venue on March 19. Three days later, they will proceed to Chandigarh to take on New Zealand at Mohali and then on March 25 will play against Australia at the same venue.
Behind Afridi on the list of most T20I wickets are one-time team-mates Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal with 85 each, but neither will feature for Pakistan in the World Twenty20. Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga is fourth with 78. Malinga too has indicated that the tournament could be his last, and fitness concerns threaten to limit his participation (he last week announced he was relinquishing the captaincy).
Pakistan have reached the final of the World Twenty20 twice, losing to India in a thriller during the inaugural edition in 2007 and then beating Sri Lanka at Lord’s to claim the title in 2009. Afridi has featured in all previous six editions of the tournament.
Top 10 wicket-takers in T20Is
93- Shahid Afridi
85 – Umar Gul
85 – Saeed Ajmal
78 – Lasith Malinga
66 – Ajantha Mendis
65 – Stuart Broad
61 – Shakib Al Hasan
57 – Dale Steyn
55 – Nuwan Kulasekara
55 – Nathan McCullu