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Afridi turns on the style for Hampshire

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Shahid Afridi

Gloucestershire were unable to handle Shahid Afridi, who claimed wonderful figures of 5-20 to lead Hampshire to victory at the Rose Bowl

Pakistan star Shahid Afridi celebrated his home debut for Hampshire by taking five wickets in a 16-run Friends Life t20 defeat of Gloucestershire at the Rose Bowl.

Afridi, freed to play after resolving his dispute with the Pakistan Cricket Board, finished with figures of 5-20 as the defending champions went joint top of the South Group with Sussex as a result of their sixth win this season.

In a rain-affected match, Hampshire made 139 for seven and Gloucestershire, chasing a revised target of 124 from 17 overs, fell short.

In Hampshire's innings, Afridi, batting at number six, managed only five runs before he was caught off Gloucestershire's acting captain, Kane Williamson.

But when Gloucestershire began their pursuit of a target of seven runs an over, they were soon in trouble against the pacy spin of Afridi.

Gloucestershire had reached 54 for two when Afridi struck for the first time, bowling Ian Cockbain for 24.

Afridi struck again in his next over when he lured Chris Taylor from his crease to give Nic Pothas a stumping.

Afridi bowled Will Gidman to claim his third wicket before the leg-spinner made his most crucial contribution when he came on for the 15th over of the innings, with Gloucestershire still requiring another 27 for victory.

With his fourth delivery, Afridi bowled Richard Coughtrie with a quicker delivery, and then induced Ian Saxelby to sky a catch to Neil McKenzie at third man.

Gloucestershire's hopes depended on their stand-in skipper, Williamson, who had made 50 from 42 deliveries when he was ninth out to Sean Ervine in the penultimate over.

Williamson had struck six fours before lifting a catch to Imran Tahir, who held on at the second attempt.

Muttiah Muralitharan was last out three balls from the end, bowled by Dominic Cork to confirm Hampshire's victory.

Opener Jimmy Adams top-scored for Hampshire with 47 before he was bowled by Muralitharan, who returned later to trap McKenzie for eight on his way to economic figures of 2-15 from four overs.

Hampshire were in trouble at 97 for six after Afridi had perished to a catch at long-on, but the seventh-wicket pair of Pothas and Dimitri Mascarenhas lifted their team to a competitive total with a stand of 40 from 21 balls.

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