Even with a team of stars, the ICC World XI struggled to challenge in the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge as the T20 missionaries, West Indies, raced to a comfortable win at Lord's amidst unprecedented scenes on a cricket field. Whirlwind knocks from Marlon Samuels, Evin Lewis, Denesh Ramdin and Andre Russell and a brilliant opening spell from Samuel Badree ensured that the contest remained largely one-sided. Here are the best moments from the game.
The irritating on-field reporter
On a bizarre, fun night, Nasser Hussain acted as the on-field reporter, chatting with players and commentating on the match from the midst of the action. He moved about from the slip cordon to the various fielders, teasing them, asking questions and clearly taking their focus off the game.
In a usual international match, such antics are of course not allowed, but this wasn't all about cricket at Lord's. The frolic was ideated by broadcasters, Sky Sports, who were providing free global feed for the match.
Lala’s last bow indeed?
Shahid Afridi is known as the comeback man. He has come out of retirement umpteen times and yet another one seemed improbable when he stepped aside from international cricket in 2016 after a game at Mohali. Yet, here he was skippering the World XI with his flashing smile and unmatchable aura.
Afridi came into the attack in the 12th over and immediately made an impact, beating Andre Fletcher in flight, and rewarding himself a wicket courtesy a stumping. He slipped into his familiar arms-spread-like-a-bird celebrations to send the crowd into a frenzy. He returned to bat but didn't make much of an impact before nearly limping off the field. He received a standing ovation as he walked off the field.
A last bow indeed.
The impromptu runner
Runners are no longer allowed in international cricket but in this Hurricane relief match, played for a larger cause, rules barely mattered. Sam Billings jogged out alongside Afridi as Lala stepped in to bat one final time. The umpires intervened but Billings pointed at someone in the West Indian line-up and he was allowed to continue as the runner.
Afridi’s 12-ball stay was less exciting than it used to be two years ago, but the presence of a runner, a long forgotten scene in international cricket made it quite memorable. Billings, though, didn't have to spend too much time in the middle, as Afridi, in typical fashion, slogged while still hobbling and gifted a catch to deep midwicket.
Badree takes revenge on IPL franchises
Samuel Badree had taken a hat-trick for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2017 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Yet he found no takers in the 2018 auctions with a base price of Rs 1 crore. The leg-spinner is known to deliver superb opening spells in the Powerplays and belongs to the trending category of wrist spinners.
As though to prove a point to the franchises who conveniently ignored him at the auctions, Badree sent down a superb opening spell against World XI in the run chase. His first over, the first over of the run chase, saw him trap Luke Ronchi in front but the umpires didn't agree to his vehement appeal. He didn't take long to make amends, though, as he sent down a double-wicket maiden next over to derail the World XI.
He bowled all three of his overs within the Powerplays and returned with jaw-dropping figures of 3-1-4-2. You can almost imagine Virat Kohli's mouth gape.
Andre Russell’s payback time to Rashid Khan
The Afghanistan leg-spinner had decimated Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifier of the recently concluded IPL season, dismissing Andre Russell amongst his three wickets in a Man of the Match-winning performance.
The West Indian all-rounder still seemed to be seething from the encounter and used the charity game to pay back. The first ball he faced from the wily leg-spinner was slogged deep into the cow corner stands for a massive six. He returned to strike by the penultimate ball of the penultimate over and sent the next two balls for back-to-back sixes to spoil Rashid's figures.
In the four balls he faced from the leg-spinner, Russell tonked 19 runs, including three sixes. Ironically, Rashid Khan had taken 3/19 in four overs against KKR in the qualifiers. Some statistical revenge this!