In today’s time with the introduction of T20 cricket scoring at 10rpo or hitting a bowler for 15-20 runs an over seems normal but it was not the case if you rewind back to cricket in the 90’s. A score above 250 was considered a daunting total and scoring 8-9 runs per over was a huge achievement. We didn’t have the Chris Gayles, the Warners, the Sehwags, the McCullum’s back then and the attacking style of play was mainly introduced by the Sri-Lankan duo of Sanath Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana.
But on 4th October 1996, the cricketing world saw the introduction of one of the most destructive batsman in the world, a 16 year old Pakistani player named Shahid Afridi. Playing his first ever International innings against the mighty Sri-Lankan side at Nairobi, it was Afridi who walked into to bat at #3 when Saleem Elahi was dismissed at the score reading 60-1 for Pakistan.
The youthful exuberance of Shahid Afridi and with that fearless attitude Afridi was simply unstoppable. He reached the half century mark in just 18 balls which till today is still the 2nd
fastest half century in ODI cricket. He also completed his century in just 37 balls, which was obviously the fastest century and he still holds the record for the fastest ODI century. With 11 sixes and 6 fours in his extraordinary innings, he also equaled the record for most in an ODI innings. Aged 16 years and 217 days, Afridi became the youngest player to score an ODI century. Pakistan posted a total of 371, at the time the second-highest in ODIs, and won by 82 runs; Afridi was named man of the match.