Shahid Afridi was ruled out of the 2013 Champions Trophy for being consistently inconsistent. The axing was a lesson for him. That is why when he returned today in Providence, Guyana, he went on the rampage. At a time when Pakistan had lost five wickets on 47 and there was a bleak prospect of the team reaching even 100, Afridi played a tremendous innings of 76 off 55. The need of the time was to stay at the crease as long as you could and play only the bad deliveries. Studded with five sixes and five fours, Afridi played an innings that he owed to the team for a long time. He played a similar innings in a recent tour of South Africa, but it proved fruitless. However, today’s innings was a nightmare for the opponents.
And he did not just stop there. With a low score of 224, Pakistan needed a bowling performance as well. It was Afridi again this time who bowled superbly with a personal best of seven wickets for 12 runs in nine overs. It was also the best innings by a Pakistani in ODIs. Had he taken a one more wicket, he would have broken Chaminda Vaas’ world record of eight wickets.
The performance earned Afridi the man-of-the-match award – 30th time in his 355-match career. This has made him the top Pakistani player to achieve most man-of-the-match awards. He is also among the top 10 international players to have claimed the award most of the times.
India’s Sachin Tendulkar has claimed most man-of-the-match awards in the one-day history. His tally was 62 and nobody is close to him in this regard. Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya was second 48 awards. The complete list can be seen below:
Players achieving most man-of-the-match awards in ODIs
|Sanath Jayasuriya||Sri Lanka||1989-2011||445||48|
|Jacques Kallis||South Africa||1996-2012||321||32|
|Viv Richards||West Indies||1975-1991||187||31|
|Brian Lara||West Indies||1990-2007||299||30|
|Aravinda de Silva||Sri Lanka||1984-2003||308||30|
|Shahid Afridi||Pakistan||1996-to date||355||30|