The International Cricket Council has chosen Pakistan’s left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi’s opening spell against arch-rival India in the first match of the two teams in the 2021 T20 World Cup as the play of the tournament (ICC).
The tournament’s play was announced by ICC via its various social media accounts. The announcement included snippets of Shaheen’s ferocious opening spell.
In the opening overs of the high-octane clash, the fiery pacer ripped apart the Indian top order, taking the wickets of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. The Indian batting unit was derailed by Shaheen’s spell, and they never recovered fully in the match.
Pakistan easily chased down the target and won the match by 10 wickets. This was the Men in Green’s first World Cup victory over their arch-rivals. As Pakistan ran riot in Dubai, Shaheen picked up three wickets, including the prized scalp of Indian captain Virat Kohli. Shaheen finished with figures of 3/31 in four overs, assisting Pakistan to a historic victory.
The 21-year-old continued his excellent form in the following matches, guiding Pakistan to their first T20 World Cup semi-final since 2012. Shaheen took 7 wickets in the tournament, including two in his opening Super 12s match against Afghanistan and one in the semi-final against Australia.