Afridi ton takes Hants to Finals Day

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‘Boom Boom’ Afridi hits fastest T20 Blast century of 2017
NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final, The 3aaa County Ground, Derby
Hampshire 249-8 (20 overs): Afridi 101, Vince 55; Critchley 3-32
Derbyshire 148 (19.5 overs): Cotton 30*; Abbott 3-25, Dawson 3-28
Hampshire beat Derbyshire by 101 runs

Shahid Afridi’s breathtaking 42-ball century led Hampshire to a crushing 101-run victory over Derbyshire in the first T20 Blast quarter-final.

The Pakistan all-rounder, promoted to open, smashed seven sixes in his 101 before holing out the ball after reaching his maiden Twenty20 hundred.

James Vince made 55 from 36 deliveries as Hampshire piled up 249-8 at Derby.

Derbyshire came out swinging but were all out for 148, with Liam Dawson and Kyle Abbott taking three wickets each.

Two-time winners Hampshire will now appear in their seventh Finals Day in the last eight years at Edgbaston on 2 September, while Derbyshire have never made it beyond the last eight.

Afridi’s spellbinding innings included some of the cleanest hitting surely ever witnessed in the 15-year history of the competition, with several balls sailing out of the County Ground.

The 37-year-old’s hundred was the fastest in the 2017 T20 Blast, beating the 45-ball centuries made by Worcestershire’s Joe Clarke and Nottinghamshire’s Alex Hales.

The former Pakistan international had been in poor form with the bat heading into the match, scoring just 50 runs in seven innings.

Shahid Afridi’s hundred contained 10 fours and seven sixes

He said he had asked Hampshire’s management to let him open because he felt “wasted at seven or eight” and signalled his intent from the off smashing Wayne Madsen’s first over for 16.

By the time he was caught by Ben Cotton at deep fine leg, Afridi had taken Hampshire to 146-2 from only 12.2 overs.

Skipper Vince continued to find the rope after Afridi went, reaching his fourth half-century of the season, as Hampshire made the eighth highest T20 score in history.

In the chase Derbyshire slumped to 58-7 and looked set for the heaviest Twenty20 defeat of all time, before a last-wicket stand of 46 between Cotton and Imran Tahir brought some respectability.

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