Shahid Afridi has been one of the most important cricketers of all time to be produced by Pakistan. Apart from the puzzle around his age, Afridi has always been that player who was known for hitting huge sixes and then getting out. Either he went big or went bust and most of the times, he is remembered as a leg-spinning all-rounder rather than a batsman who could bowl.
He managed to hold onto a spot in the limited-overs team for 20 years but mostly as a bowler and leader. But his diehard fans always wanted Afridi to hit those blazing hundreds which often came at a strike rate of well over 100. The most memorable innings played by Afridi remains his maiden outing in ODI cricket in what was his second match in a tri-nation series in Nairobi.
ESPN Cricinfo remembers Afridi’s memorable hundred; Compton trolls him
Pakistan played Sri Lanka in the KCA Centenary tournament in Nairobi on October 4, 1996, and it saw a young 16-year-old Shahid Afridi batting for the first time in ODIs, in his second match. Famously, he had borrowed a bat from Waqar Younis, who in turn had a bat that was given to him by Sachin Tendulkar.
Afridi smoked Lankan bowlers for a 37-ball century, a record that stood till 2014 when first Corey Anderson (36 balls) and then AB de Villiers (31 balls) demolished it. He made 102 in 40 balls with six fours and 11 sixes and broke the then-record of Sanath Jayasuriya, who had made a 48-ball hundred. Cricinfo commemorated the memorable innings by sharing the hitting spree by Afridi on its social media accounts.
On their Instagram, ESPN Cricinfo posted an image showing the Pakistani batsman’s ball-to-ball hitting and captioned,” #OnThisDay in 1996, @SAfridiOfficial smashed the then-record for the fastest ODI hundred in his first international innings”
However, former England opener Nick Compton was having none of it and decided to troll Afridi on his achievement and commented, “And never scored a run thereafter”. This didn’t go down well with Pakistani fans as Compton was slaughtered in the comment sections with many saying “Hardly anybody knows you”, reminding him of his Test average of 28 and using other choicest ways.
Meanwhile, the current record holder for fastest ODI fifty and Century is AB de Villiers of South Africa, who smashed a 16-ball fifty and the aforementioned 31-ball century during his innings of 149 off 44 balls against the West Indies in 2015.
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