Sharjah : Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi’s hat-trick lit up the opening night of the inaugural T10 League here, helping his Pakhtoons side beat the Virender Sehwag-led Maratha Arabians by 25 runs.

In the tournament opener, Kerala Kings rode on Irish Paul Stirling’s unbeaten 66 to beat Bengal Tigers by eight wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium here on Thursday.

Afridi claimed the hat-trick with the first three balls to break the backbone of the Arabians, who were on track with England’s Alex Hales striking a 26-ball unbeaten 57, in their chase of 122.

The explosive Pakistani leg-spinner’s victims included South Africa’s Rilee Rossouw, who holed out to Afridi’s first ball, caught by a fine diving catch at long-on by Najibullah Zadran before his second delivery trapped West Indian Dwayne Bravo plumb in front.

Sehwag became the third victim of Afridi’s hat-trick, trapped in front by an in-dipping slider. Interestingly, this was Hales’ first outing since the incident outside a Bristol nightclub that led to him and all-rounder Ben Stokes’ suspension from England duty.

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Free Press Journal