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Shaheen Afridi’s fiery shush celebration on 28-ball fifty in PSL after Wasim Akram’s ‘he isn’t an all-rounder’ criticism

Shaheen pulled off the shush celebration after his second fifty in his PSL career, which came a day after Wasim Akram’s “he’s not an all-rounder” criticism.

Shaheen Afridi sent a fiery message to his critics on Sunday after scoring a 28-ball half-century in the 2024 edition of the Pakistan Super League in the match between defending champions Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators at the National Stadium in Karachi. Shaheen pulled off the shush celebration after his second fifty in his PSL career, which came a day after Pakistan legend Wasim Akram’s “he’s not an all-rounder” criticism.

Shaheen Afridi scored a 28-ball fifty in Lahore Qalandars vs Quetta Gladiators PSL match

The 2023 champions have had a forgettable season so far in PSL, where they have claimed only a solitary victory in 10 matches to stand at the bottom of the table. Amid the run, Shaheen’s captaincy calls have been immensely criticised as well with the likes of Akram lashing out at his decisions to promote himself up the batting order.

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Shaheen has improved as a batter in the last two years, since smashing a 15-ball 44 in the 2023 PSL final. However, Akram, speaking on A Sports, fumed at the Pakistan white-ball captain for his decision to send himself ahead of better slog-over hitters such as David Wiese and Sikandar Raza. The statement came after Shaheen had promoted himself at No. 5 in the match against Karachi Kings on Saturday and ended up scoring just 1 off 3, compared to Wiese and Raza who smashed 46 runs between themselves in 25 balls, laced with 4 sixes and 2 boundaries.

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The former Pakistan fast bowler said: “Shaheen needs to be told that he hasn’t become an all-rounder yet. You have world-class hitters in your team, whose job is to come and score runs in the last three overs – Wiese and Raza. Shaheen scored 1 off 3, while Raza scored 22 off 16 & Wiese 24 off 9. They took the score to 177. It’s not mandatory that if you are captain you have to come out to bat. Observe the situation and whether there are better players and hitters in the dugout. If Shaheen had done that maybe they would have made 190.”

A day later, in Lahore’s match against Quetta, Shaheen, ignoring the advice from Akram, once again came out to bat at No. 5, but this time smashed 55 off 34, where 18 off those runs came in 11 deliveries in the death over. And on reaching the half-century mark, Shaheen pulled off the finger-on-your-lips celebration, taking aim at his critics.

Despite the effort, Saud Shakeel’s 88 off 65 helped Quetta beat Lahore by 6 wickets.

Following the loss, Wasim was critical of Shaheen’s death-over bowling as the Pakistan star conceded 24 runs in two overs for two wickets, which included a 16-run last over where Shakeel smashed him for consecutive boundaries before Mohammad Wasim held his nerves to smash a six in the final ball.

“At one stage, they had the game in control when Shaheen came to bowl. They needed 29 runs off the last two overs. Credit to Quetta and Wasim because I have never seen him hit a shot like that. Shaheen has the experience of bowling in these situations. He is the captain of Pakistan as well and has been a regular for the last 5 years or more. In such situations, he always goes for the length ball, probably wanted it to go across, but go full, even if the batter gets an edge and it goes for a boundary, this was just asking for trouble. He hasn’t been able to defend well in this PSL season,” he said.


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