Shahid Afridi overcame pain in his knee to roll back the years and put in another Player of the Match performance. This time, it came for Comilla Victorians in the Bangladesh Premier League.
Afridi, 38, picked up 3/10 before sealing a five-wicket victory against Rajshahi Kings with a six in Dhaka on Friday, 11 January.
Coming on to bowl in the eighth over of the innings, he struck with his very first delivery, trapping Mehidy Hasan, the Kings captain, lbw for 30. That was the big wicket, and he immediately followed it up with another to have two in two when Laurie Evans was dismissed in a similar manner.
He missed the hat-trick but came back in the next over to have Qais Ahmad bowled for a first-ball duck.
The veteran, who earlier this year became the first Pakistan player and only the third ever in the world after Dwayne Bravo and Shakib Al Hasan to do the double of 4000 runs and 300 wickets in T20s, admitted that pain in his knees had been bothering him, even as he played through.
"I kept it simple, bowling wicket to wicket. If the batsmen miss they'll be a chance," he explained after the match.
Super excited to join these superstars at the Comila Victorians camp. Looking forward to an action packed season of the BPL 2019. Come support us! pic.twitter.com/BWjbp3iWR5— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) January 5, 2019
The performance marked his second Player of the Match award in three games this season – the first one coming for his 39* off 25 balls and 1/29 in his opening game.
Imrul Kayes, standing in as captain for an injured Steve Smith, hailed the work of the bowlers to restrict the opposition to 124 in 18.5 overs on Friday. Comilla openers Anamul Haque and Evin Lewis got the chase off to a strong start adding 65 for the opening wicket, before Tamim Iqbal provided the finishing touches.