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"Shaheen Afridi We All Want": Pakistan Star Picks First International Wicket After PSL Triumph. Watch

Shaheen Afridi was one of the five pacers rested for the T20I series against Afghanistan.© AFP

Star pacer Shaheen Afridi, who recently led Lahore Qalandars to their second consecutive Pakistan Super League (PSL) title, returned to action during the first T20I against New Zealand at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. However, Shaheen, who rested for the T20I series against Afghanistan, didn’t take too long to make his mark, striking in his second over to remove Will Young, who went for a booming off-drive but only managed to get a thick inside edge and the ball rattled his middle and off-stumps.

This Shaheen Afridi we all want >>> pic.twitter.com/J1ocNetUI1

— H A M Z A (@HamzaKhan259) April 14, 2023

While the fans of the Pakistan cricket team were thrilled to see Shaheen back in action, it was Haris Rauf who stole the show with his career-best figures and inspired Pakistan’s big win over the Kiwis.

After captain Babar Azam elected to bat in his 100th T20I game, Fakhar Zaman and Saim Ayub scored 47 runs each and put on a 79-run partnership for the third wicket to anchor Pakistan to 182 all out in 19.5 overs.

Rauf, one of five players who returned after being rested in Pakistan’s last series against Afghanistan, took career best figures of 4-18 as New Zealand were 94 all out in 15.3 overs.

Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim finished with 2-2 in his only over — taking both his wickets off successive deliveries.

Mark Chapman top-scored with 27-ball 34 inclusive of four boundaries and a six while skipper Tom Latham made 24-ball 20.

Rauf’s previous best T20 figures of 4-22 had also come against New Zealand in Sharjah in 2021.

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