Shaheen Afridi: A Piece Of Hampshire History

After Shaheen Afridi's outstanding performance against Middlesex yesterday, Hampshire Cricket historian Dave Allen takes a look at some of our best T20 bowling performances

With the final four balls of Hampshire’s unprecedented 2020 season, their left-arm pace bowler from Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi broke all the old records and set some brand-new ones.

His four wickets in four balls against Middlesex at the Ageas Bowl was a first for Hampshire and indeed a first in English T20 history, passing the first-ever hat-trick back in 2004 by ‘Dimi’ Mascarenhas at Hove.

Shaheen finished with 6-19, to become the first player to take six wickets in an innings for the county – and they were all bowled – and that analysis beat the previous best for-or-against in any Hampshire match, ironically by his team-mate James Fuller, who took 6-28 for Middlesex at the Ageas Bowl in 2018.

It must be something to do with Middlesex as the previous best against Hampshire of 5-13 was by Ryan Higgins, also for that county at the Ageas Bowl in 2016.

Shaheen’s six-wicket haul took him past Dimi’s Hove analysis of 5-14, which had stood as Hampshire’s best for 16 years and was one of five occasions when a Hampshire bowler had taken five wickets in a four-over spell.

At Hove the Sussex total of 67 remains the lowest ever against Hampshire but we took 19 overs and lost seven wickets getting there. In 2012 we bowled out Gloucestershire for just one more run with Sean Ervine taking 4-12 including a rare maiden over!

2012 was of course the second year that we won the Trophy and ‘Dimi’ was again to the fore in our successful semi-final (2-11 in four overs) and Final (2-20). While the record books place these below five-wicket hauls, the context surely adds considerable value.

When we took the trophy in 2010, Danny Briggs had 3-29 in the semi-final against Essex, and Dominic Cork 2-24 in the thrilling Final against Somerset.

Spin bowlers have often been very effective for Hampshire – after Shaheen and ‘Dimi’ our third best figures are 5-17 by Liam Dawson against Somerset in 2016, then 5-19 by Danny Briggs against Durham and 5-20 by Shahid Afridi against Gloucestershire, both in 2011, when our trip to Finals Day ended in a semi-final defeat.

Our other five wicket haul is by Chris Wood the only Hampshire bowler to have taken 100+ wickets in all three formats. In 2018 he took 5-32 at Taunton but unlike the other ‘five-star’ men his efforts ended in defeat.

There have been many other fine bowling performances for Hampshire over the years, but in a format where runs conceded can be as significant as wickets taken, let’s conclude by mentioning Danny Briggs at Canterbury on our way to that 2010 triumph, when with Kent chasing 140 for victory, he returned figures of 4-0-5-3.

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