Hampshire lose despite Afridi's return

Shahid Afridi took one wicket for 23 runs in his four overs against Essex AFP

London: Jun 24, 2011

Reigning champions Hampshire lost for the first time in the Twenty20 Cup this season, despite Shahid Afridi making his debut for the county, as they suffered a 26-run defeat at Essex on Thursday.

Former Pakistan captain Afridi’s first match for Hampshire had been long delayed as a result of a dispute with his home board that saw Pakistan Cricket Board officials refuse to authorise him to play county cricket in England.

At Chelmsford, the leg-spinner produced an excellent spell of one for 23 in his maximum four overs.But by that stage New Zealand paceman Tim Southee, promoted to open the Essex innings in the absence of England all-rounder Ravi Bopara, had struck the Hampshire new-ball attack for 74, including five sixes and six fours in the major contribution to the hosts’ total of 162 for seven.

Southee, most of whose shots were orthodox, ‘proper’ cricket strokes, followed up with three wickets and two catches.Despite a stylish fifty from James Vince, Hampshire struggled to keep up with the required run-rate and were almost out of the match when Afridi took guard at number six.Afridi managed just two runs before, backing away outside leg stump, he was bowled by left-arm spinner Tim Phillips, who finished with four for 29.