Shahid Afridi: Hampshire's T20 Blast hero says gamble to open paid off with century
Shahid Afridi said his 42-ball century which sent Hampshire to their second T20 Blast Finals Day owed a lot to his natural risk-taking.
The Pakistan all-rounder asked to open the innings against Derbyshire and then smashed seven sixes in his 101, which also proved the margin of victory.
"I told the captain and coach to send me up the order," Afridi said.
"In Twenty20 you can take chances. Batsmen like me, who play aggressively, have to utilise those first six overs."
Afridi certainly did so, hitting spinner Wayne Madsen for four boundaries in the first over and was 45 not out after the powerplay, with Hampshire on 71-1.
The 37-year-old's hundred was the fastest in this year's competition and by the time he was caught at deep fine leg, Hampshire were 146-2 in the 13th over.
"I tried to start with attack - attack is your defence," Afridi, who had not opened a T20 innings since 2011 Finals Day, told BBC Radio Solent.
"The spinner [Madsen] was bowling so I tried to put pressure on them, because the pitch was not easy, especially with the new ball."