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Shaheen Shah Afridi breaks Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s T20 record

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RAWALPINDI: Pakistan’s left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi on Thursday, broke India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s record of most first-over wickets in T20 cricket.

Afridi achieved the milestone in the first T20I of the five-match series between Pakistan and New Zealand when he cleaned up Tim Robinson with a perfectly crafted in-swinger.

The dismissal pushed Afridi’s tally of first-over wickets to 47, leaving behind the top bowlers in the world. He is now closely followed by India’s Kumar (46), compatriot Mohammad Amir (43) and England’s David Willey, who has 42 wickets.

For the unversed, the highly-anticipated first T20I between Pakistan and New Zealand was called off due to persistent rain here.

Only a two-ball action was possible at the picturesque Pindi Cricket Stadium as the rain returned after Shaheen Shah Afridi’s early wicket.

As soon as it started raining again, the on-field umpires shook hands with the players and decided to call off the match.

The toss of the anticipated fixture between Pakistan and New Zealand was also delayed for about half an hour. New Zealand’s captain Michael Bracewell then won the coin toss and elected to bat first.

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Soon after, players from both teams gathered for the national anthems but the rain returned, causing the action to be delayed further.

The second spell of rain was heavier and it seemed likely that the match would be abandoned without a ball bowled.

A tireless effort from the ground staff went in vain as the rain returned again to sweep the possibility of a five-over match between Pakistan and New Zealand.

Pakistan squad

Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saim Ayub, Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Azam Khan (wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir, Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Irfan Khan Niazi, Usama Mir, Zaman Khan

Reserves: Haseebullah, Mohammad Ali, Agha Salman, Sahibzada Farhan, Mohammad Wasim Jr.

New Zealand squad

Michael Bracewell (c), Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert (WK), Ish Sodhi, Tom Blundell, Zak Foulkes.

READ: New Zealand’s training session cancelled due to weather conditions

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