SHARJAH: Shahid Afridi, hero of many a battles at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, did what the unique T10 Cricket League format wanted on the first day of the tournament on Thursday night. He bowled a hat-trick to prove to the world that he is still a champion cricketer, although retired from international cricket, and lifted the profile of this version of the game.
A near-packed stadium enjoyed this new shortest version of the game with fans cheering for every shot and wicket-taking deliveries. When Afridi produced his hat-trick he literally wiped away all doubts on this format’s success with the crowd giving him a standing ovation. His hat-trick victims included Rilee Rossouw and Dwayne John Bravo, and he completed the hat-trick by taking the prize wicket of Maratha Arabians captain and former India’s star batsman Virender Sehwag.
Another record in #T10Cricket, First ever hat-trick by @SAfridiOfficial in shortest format of the cricket. This is how he dismissed Rossouw, Bravo & Sehwag. Must say it was his day, treat to watch!!! pic.twitter.com/fHkRQk8lCV
— Raza Mehdi (@SyedRezaMehdi) December 14, 2017
The Kerala-Bengal match proved that a super star was not needed to win a match when Ireland’s Paul Stirling cracked a breezy unbeaten 66 off 27 balls with ten boundaries and three sixes to give Kerala a winning start.
Bengal received a huge blow just before the start of the tournament when six of their players selected through the draft pulled out due to personal reasons. Additionally, after being put into bat, Bengal failed to bat as fast as they should have done in the quick format. They batted as if retaining their wickets mattered more than scoring runs; and with the result they managed a mere 86 for 1 from their 10 overs.