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Afridi century powers Hampshire to Natwest T20 Blast semi-final

Shahid Afridi scored 101 off 43 balls
Shahid Afridi scored 101 off 43 balls

Hampshire 249-8 (Afridi 101) beat
Derbyshire 148 (Abbott 3-25) by 101 runs
First Quarter-Final, Natwest T20 Blast, County Ground

Shahid Afridi marked his presence with a blistering century as Hampshire overpowered Derbyshire by 101 runs in the first quarter-final of the Natwest T20 Blast at County Ground.

It was Derbyshire, who won the toss and decided to bowl first. Afridi (101) opened the innings in a surprise move by Hampshire and he set the tone with four boundaries in the first over.

Even though Calvin Dickinson (18) fell in the fourth over, Afridi plundered two more sixes and three boundaries to take Hampshire to 71 for one in the powerplay.

The former Pakistan all-rounder smashed two more sixes to complete a 19 ball half-century as James Vince (55) was settling in and at halfway mark Hampshire were 114 for one.

The onslaught from Afridi continued as he completed a 42-ball century but fell soon after that. Vince stepped up the accelerator in the final overs while George Bailey (27) and Tom Alsop (14 not out) played useful cameos to take the total to 249 for eight in the 20 overs.

In the chase, Derbyshire never looked comfortable in the chase as they were reduced to 58 for seven following terrific bowling from Liam Dawson (3-28) and Kyle Abbott (3-25).

The final three batsmen, Daryn Smit (17), Ben Cotton (30 not out) and Imran Tahir (23) showed some resilience but Derbyshire were bowled out for 148 runs.

The 101-run victory means Hampshire becomes the first team in the tournament to book a berth in the semi-finals and Afridi was named the player of the match for his heroics with the bat.

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