In an unprecedented display of fast bowling, Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi carved a unique space for himself in T20 cricket history. In a T20 Vitality Blast match for Nottinghamshire against Warwickshire on June 30, the young bowler became the first to seize four wickets in the initial overs of a T20 match.
Shaheen’s devastating attack started immediately, as he claimed the scalps of opener Alex Davies and Chris Benjamin with the first two balls. A fierce yorker dismissed Davies LBW, and Benjamin was bowled out. Dan Mousley fell victim to the fifth delivery, playing straight into the waiting hands of Olly Stone. Ed Barnard was the fourth casualty of this destructive over, bowled out by Shaheen. It was a brilliant demonstration of controlled, aggressive bowling, with all four wickets coming in the maiden over.
Despite Shaheen’s spectacular performance and restricting Warwickshire to 29 runs, Nottinghamshire couldn’t secure a victory. The Bears chased down the 169-run target set by Nottinghamshire in just 19.1 overs. Opener Robert Yates emerged as the chase star, smashing 65 runs off 46 balls to lead his team to a two-wicket victory.
Support came from Glenn Maxwell, Jacob Bethell and Jake Lintott, who scored 19, 27, and 27 not out, respectively, providing the necessary momentum to carry the Bears over the line. This win has placed Warwickshire Bears at the top of the points table in the North Group, with 10 victories in 13 matches, while Nottinghamshire sits in fourth place.
Shaheen’s Journey in the T20 Blast
The 2023 T20 Vitality Blast tournament, now in its 21st edition, has a rich history of hosting top international talent. Shaheen Shah Afridi is a part of this legacy, representing Nottinghamshire Outlaws in this year’s competition. This is not his first outing in the tournament, as he represented Hampshire Hawks briefly in the 2020 edition, making a lasting impression by claiming four wickets in four successive deliveries in a match against Middlesex. This year, his extraordinary achievement of four wickets in the first over further highlights his rising stature in international cricket.