Thatscricket - News - Afridi assault takes Leicestershire to Lord's
Published: Tuesday, August 14, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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London: Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi steered Leicestershire into the Trophy final with an amazing innings of 95 in its seven wicket semi-final win over Lancashire at Grace Road on Monday.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Afridi, only at Leicestershire because first choice overseas player Daniel Marsh had to return home to Australia injured, was in typically destructive form. His 95 came from 58 balls including six sixes and eight fours. It was all the more impressive as the opener was completely uninhibited by seeing his side decline to nine for two.All that was missing from Afridi's innings was a century and he eventually perished when Andrew Flintoff on the deep cover boundary caught a flat-batted slash off fellow pace bowler Glen Chapple. Leicestershire captain Vince Wells played his part with a composed 64 not out, as he and Afridi put on 152 in 114 balls, the side on their way to a 13th straight one day victory.Afridi's reputation as a hard hitter goes back to his first One-day International innings when in 1996-97, as a 16-year-old, he made a century in just 37 balls, a world record for international Limited Overs cricket, against Sri Lanka in Kenya.On Sunday, after a rain-delayed start, Lancashire captain John Crawley surprisingly chose to bat first in overcast conditions and the visitors collapsed to 60 for six.They re-started on Monday on 84 for six but a stand of 102 between wicket-keeper Warren Hegg (60) and leg-spinner Chris Schofield (42) at least gave Lancashire a respectable total of 190 to defend. That looked all the better when veteran seamer Peter Martin took two early Leicestershire wickets. But then Afridi took charge - the only chance before his dismissal a fierce drive on 49, which Crawley was unable to hold.Leicestershire will play Somerset in the Trophy final at Lord's on Saturday, September 1.