Steve Smith picks 2 wickets by bowling like Shahid Afridi in a CPL game
The Aussie credited Afridi after the game for the change in his bowling action.
Updated - Aug 23, 2018 6:26 pm
You can keep Steve Smith out of cricket, but you cannot keep cricket out of him. The former Australian captain who is serving a year ban since the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa earlier this year came up with an impressive performance in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament on Wednesday, August 22. A dashing unbeaten half-century and two wickets saw the 29-year-old player bagging the Man of the Match award as well.
Playing for Barbados Tridents, Smith came out to bat with his team in some a discomfort 2 down for 37 runs but turned the tables scoring 63 not out off 44 balls. He slammed five fours and three sixes en route his maiden CPL half century and helped the Tridents reach 156 for 6 in 20 overs.
Batting first, Smith came to the crease in the sixth over. He proceeded to construct a partnership with Shai Hope that rescued the Tridents. The Aussie was not done yet in the game. After the interval, Smith came into action when the opponents Jamaica Tallawahs were cruising at 80 for no loss inside 10 overs.
Smith credits Afridi for the change in bowling action
Adopting a bowling style that has a startling resemblance with former Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi, Smith picked the two openers – Jason Charles and Glenn Phillips within four balls to disrupt the chase. Jamaica could not overcome the twin blows and eventually lost the game by just 2 runs even though they had seven wickets to spare. Smith ended with 19 for 2 in three overs.
He bowled quicker through the air and saw Charles’s heave and was caught by Martin Guptill at mid-wicket. Four balls later, he produces a leg-spinner which Phillips nicked to wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran. Phillips was however distraught with the decision. Smith almost had this third scalp but Raymon Reifer dropped a catch off his bowling.
— CPL T20 (@CPL) August 23, 2018
The Aussie credited Afridi after the game for the change in his bowling action. “I’ve sort of changed a few things (with respect to bowling), I’m trying to base my action like Shahid Afridi and try to bowl fast into the wicket, fortunately, it worked tonight. Why not, the bloke’s played for a long time. He’s been a terrific leg-spinner,” Smith said after the match.
He also mentioned that with growing age, his normal bowling action doesn’t fetch the same momentum and an action like that of Afridi helped him.