Afridi Century Seals Hampshire's Place At Finals Day

Shahid Afridi struck a sensational century as Hampshire secured their place at Finals Day

A phenomenal innings from Shahid Afridi (101) helped Hampshire record their highest T20 score as they secured their place at T20 Finals Day with a 101-run victory over Derbyshire.

Afridi, promoted to the top of the order for the match, struck his first T20 century as Hampshire totalled a mammoth 249-8 from their 20 overs.

Wickets then fell regularly in reply as Liam Dawson (3-28) and Kyle Abbott (3-25) picked up crucial wickets to help the Hampshire attack restricted the hosts to 148 in reply, well short of the required target.

An agressive start from Afridi at the top of the order saw Hampshire begin their innings in tremendous style - the right-hander striking a flurry of boundaries in the powerplay to take his side to 56-1.

He continued to clear the rope throughout the first half of the innings and moved to his half-century in the eighth over, the landmark coming off just 20 deliveries.

Despite the loss of opening partner Calvin Dickinson (18), Afridi continued to look at his destructive best, clearing the boundary with ease regularly to steer Hampshire to 129-1 after just 11 overs.

He was well-supported by James Vince (55), the duo batting brilliantly in tandem, but it was the latter who stole the show as he accellerated all the way to his deserved century - the milestone coming from just 42 balls, including 10 fours and 7 sixes.

The right-hander fell the following ball, but Vince and George Bailey (27) continued to find the boundary, helping move the total to 192-2 with four overs still remaining.

Both batsmen fell shortly after and several further wickets soon fell but the damage had been done as Hampshire reached 249-8 at the half-way stage.

Derbyshire stumbled early in their reply, Dawson claiming the wicket of Godleman (4) in the very first over of the innings.

Gareth Berg (1-15) then removed Critchley (1) the very next over, with the opener picking out Michael Carberry in the deep to leave the hosts 9-2 after just two overs.

Wickets continued to fall in quick succession with Dawson claiming two wickets in the ninth over, whilst Abbott and Chris Wood (1-16) also picked up scalps shortly after to quickly reduce Derbyshire to 56-6.

Mason Crane (2-33) soon got in on the act as the leg-spinner removed Smit (17) and Hughes (23).

Despite a 46-run ninth wicket stand between Cotton (30*) and Tahir (23), Derbyshire always looked likely to fall well-short in their pursuit, and when Kyle Abbott claimed the final wicket, Hampshire's place at the 2017 NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day was sealed.

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