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.

[caption id="attachment_1850" align="alignright" width="300"]Saeed Anwar had the honour of achieving most man-of-the-match awards for Pakistan before Shahid Afridi (Photo: WICB) Saeed Anwar had the honour of achieving most man-of-the-match awards for Pakistan before Shahid Afridi (Photo: WICB)[/caption]

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

Sachin Tendulkarبھارت India1989-201246362
Sanath Jayasuriyaسری لنکا Sri Lanka1989-201144548
Jacques Kallisجنوبی افریقہ South Africa1996-201232132
Ricky Pontingآسٹریلیا Australia1995-201237532
Viv Richardsویسٹ انڈیز West Indies1975-199118731
Sourav Gangulyبھارت India1992-200731131
Brian Laraویسٹ انڈیز West Indies1990-200729930
Aravinda de Silvaسری لنکا Sri Lanka1984-200330830
Shahid Afridiپاکستان Pakistan1996-to date35530
Saeed Anwarپاکستان Pakistan1989-200324728
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