Shahid Khan Afridi is a name that is unquestionably worth-mentioning in the world of cricket. The guy conquered the game and represented Pakistan in the most successful manner possible. Whether it comes to stealing the show with his boom boom innings; leading his team to victory under crucial circumstances; or giving befitting replies to our rivals to prove how strong we are as a team—Lala always has a card under his sleeve to prove his importance to the nation. Today we recall five ever best innings of his career which shows he is the hero we all deserve:
1. Fastest century against Sri Lanka
Afridi was a 16-year-old and was playing his first ever innings, in his second ODI. He was up against Sri Lanka, who were crowned world champions few months before that match. He was playing against highest wicket-taker in the history of the game, Mutthiah Muralitharan and one of the best left-arm fast bowlers, Chaminda Vaas, who still holds the record for best figures in an ODI.
Afridi simply shocked the world and showed them that they were going to witness something special for the next two decades. It was an innings that earned him millions of fans in just few hours.
2. 141 vs India in Chennai Test (1999)
Afridi was never considered to be a great Test player but still he has played one of the best innings ever played in a Pakistan vs India Test match. 18-year-old Afridi was playing only his second Test match, against India, in India. Pakistan and India were playing a Test match against each other after 10 years so pressure was at its highest.
India took 16-run lead in the first innings and Pakistan lost their experienced opener Saeed Anwar and veteran batsman Ijaz Ahmed early on. Something special was needed from Afridi and he came up with exactly that. He played the longest innings of his career and scored 141 runs to give Pakistan a defendable total. Pakistan lost last 6 wickets for 11 runs in the final phase of the innings to a spectacular spell by Indian fast bowler Prasad but Afridi s heroics helped Pakistan win the match by 12 runs.
3. 102 off 45 balls against India in Mohali 2005 ODI
Pakistan were playing an ODI series in India after a long time and India had beaten Pakistan 3-2 in Pakistan the previous year, so the series was even more important than usual high pressure India-Pakistan series. The series was level at 2-2 and a loss would have made situation very difficult for Pakistan in the 6-match series. But Afridi ripped apart the Indian bowlers and scored his second fastest ODI century off just 45 balls to win the game for Pakistan easily.
4. 156 vs India in Faisalabad Test 2006
Afridi s highest score in International cricket is 156, and it also came against India in a Test match. He had scored a century in the previous Test match as well, and once again Indian bowlers were smashed by him all over the ground. Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble got special treatment from him as he hit 6 sixes and 20 fours to score 156 off just 128 balls.
5. Half-century against Sri Lanka in the 2009 World T20 final
Afridi played many top innings that won matches for Pakistan and none of them won a trophy like 2009 World T20 final. Afridi s amazing performances with both bat and ball helped Pakistan reach the final. And he was Man of the Match in semi-final against South Africa but then it was the final where he scored his best T20I fifty against Sri Lanka to make Pakistan world champions.
Have anything to add to the list? Let us know in the comments.