Mohammad Shahzad Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The feat of Mohammad Shahzad, Rajputs opener who equalled the world record for the fastest half century in 12 balls in the opening match of the T10 League against Sindhis, has stunned some of the finest hitters in the game. The beefy batsman achieved the feat during his unbeaten 74 in 16 balls.

Kerala Knights’ Chris Gayle, who shares the world record for fastest half-century in 12 balls in T20 with India’s Yuvraj Singh and Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai, was present in the stadium for T10 League’s second match against Pakhtoons when Shahzad was hitting sixes at will.

There was not a single dot ball during Shahzad innings, during which he hit 14 of the 16 balls he faced for boundaries or sixes. His eight sixes were all cleanly hit and six boundaries were scored with sheer power.
After Shahzad’s century against India in the Asia Cup and this breezy knock, there is talk about him likely to win a place in the next Indian Premier League.

Hailing his innings, former Rajputs coach and South African dasher Herschelle Gibbs said: “I haven’t seen such clean hitting for a long time. His wrists went through the ball beautifully and, everything they (Sindhi bowlers) tried, he had an answer to them.”

Gibbs as well as Sindhis coach Tom Moody believe that Shahzad has proved that a batsman can hit a century even in T10 format. “It can happen in these sort of formats, but that was on another level of striking. There weren’t any slogs, it was just proper hitting from Shahzad,” he said.

Moody said Shahzad’s knock made him believe that a century is a possibility in this format. “This is my first experience of a T10 game. Looking at the wicket, looking at the size of the ground and looking at the striking by Shahzad, there is no reason a batsman couldn’t reach a hundred.

“It would be an extraordinary performance if someone did. I would be surprised if we saw an innings like that again in the next two weeks. I think we have been treated to something pretty special.”

T10 League organisers feel that this is the knock that was needed to bring fans to the stadium. “It is such knocks what people want to see and Shahzad’s knock was apt one for the opening match,” said Col. Arvinder Singh, Chief Operating Officer of the T10 League.