What's the story?
Shafiqullah Shafiq, Afghanistan's wicketkeeper-batsman, smashed a double century in a local tournament – Paragon Nangarhar Champion Trophy, held in Afghanistan. He scored 214 runs in 71 balls with the help of Twenty-one sixes and sixteen boundaries.
His runs in fact made up for more than half of his team Khateez Cricket Academy’s score as they set a target of 341 for their opponents, Kabul Star Cricket Club, to chase.
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Shafiq has a strike rate of 143.07 in International T20 cricket having played 35 matches in which he scored a total of 392 runs. His highest total in International T20 is 51 which is also his only half-century in the format.
His strike rate is very impressive considering the steady progression of Afghanistan in Cricket. This 27-year-old is also a permanent feature for his nation in three ICC World T20 editions between 2012 and 2016.
His teammate and brother, Waheedullah Shafiq, meanwhile, gave him good company as he hammered his way to 81 runs from 31 balls which boosted their team total. KCA's bowlers also worked their charm and made their opponents crumble under the pressure. Khateez Cricket Academy, in the end, went on to register a stunning 244-run victory over Kabul Star.
The partnership between the Shafiq brothers proved very expensive for the Kabul Star Cricket Club bowlers while the two went on to give befitting replies to all the bowlers one after the other. The brother-duo also shared one of their best career-knocks with each other.
Parallels from history
The history of Cricket boasts of similar wonder in domestic matches. In 2016, Pranav Dhande, a fifteen-year-old cricketer from Mumbai scored 1000 runs from just 323 balls for his school in a local tournament and made a world record. Earlier this year, Delhi batsman Mohit Ahlawat also inscribed another world record in the Cricket books by becoming the first batsman to score a triple-century in an innings in T20 cricket.
Shafiqullah is undeniably the most trusted middle-order batsman for Afghanistan. And such knocks from his side is a good news for the national squad of Afghanistan.
The performance by the Shafiq brothers is a treat for the Afghani fans. One must hope that these skills are further nurtured so that these players and other like them stage similar skilful batting in International games and amuse the cricket buffs across the globe.