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Pakistan Super League 2022

Watch: Shaheen strikes back after Paul Stirling fires in high-stakes, high-quality T20 new-ball battle

Watch: Shaheen Strikes Back After Paul Stirling Fires In High-Stakes, High-Quality T20 New-Ball Battle
by Wisden Staff 15 minute read

Watch: The Pakistan Super League is often hailed as one of the best T20 competitions going, in terms of pure cricketing quality, and Shaheen Shah Afridi and Paul Stirling showed exactly why in a barnstorming, if brief, battle.

The stakes were high, with Islamabad United chasing 169 to make the PSL 2022 final against Lahore Qalandars. Stirling had left partway through the tournament after tearing up the early rounds, but a change to the bio-security protocols allowed him to return, and he immediately signalled his intent to make up for lost time.

While Shaheen has become famous for his incision with the new ball, earning himself the Garfield Sobers Trophy in 2021, it was Stirling who made the most of the opening over.

Shaheen, as he often does, went full to start off, seeking out the stumps which he has made a habit of splattering. Instead, Stirling got well forward and drove sumptuously through the off-side for four. Two singles followed, with Stirling tucking into the leg-side and Alex Hales squeezing out a yorker, before the Irishman flicked gloriously over the on-side for the first six of the innings.

Watch Stirling smash six off Shaheen below:

Two more full deliveries, one a full toss, were taken for singles to round out an over that went for 14 runs.

A two-run Samit Patel over passed quietly by, before it was back to the main event: Shaheen to Stirling. And this time, Shaheen was the winner. Pulling back his length, a length ball was mistimed for a dot, before a sharp bouncer beat Stirling’s pull. Then came the big blow, with Stirling attempting to repeat his leg-side six, only for Haris Rauf to claim a running catch in the deep before celebrating with a roar.

Shaheen wasn’t done. Three balls later, new man Will Jacks picked out the same fielder, and all of a sudden Islamabad United were two down. A box-office bout had been won by Shaheen.

Watch Shaheen dismiss Stirling and Jacks below:


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