WHEN Umpire Tim Caldicott raised his finger to give Slough’s Nabil Shah out lbw, 29-year-old Henley left-arm paceman, Tahir Afridi, celebrated his 100th wicket for Henley since joining the Club at the beginning of 2012, writes Robert MacLeish.
The 2012 season saw a period of rebuilding following the departure of Tom Lambert, Steve Naylor and Carl Crowe at the end of the 2011 season.
Top of the list was the need to find a quick and reliable seam bowler and Afridi fitted the bill to a tee, joining Henley from Ealing, a leading club in the Middlesex Cricket League, where he had spent 10 years after his family came over from Pakistan and settled in nearby Greenford.
His arrival immediately paid dividends with a 35 wicket haul in his first season followed by 32 in Championship winning year 2013. So far this year, he has 34 wickets to his name. Along the way there have been some exceptional match-winning performances, notably 5-34 in 2012 when he destroyed Harpenden, 6-31 against Oxford in 2012, 6-34 against Banbury in 2012, 5-15 against Tring Park in 2013 and just recently 7-44 against Gerrards Cross.
These may be stand-out performances, but each week, Afridi is always in the mix taking vital wickets. He is also an impressive batter and can hit a ball a long way. He and club coach Todd Ferguson hold the HCPCL Club record for the ninth wicket (124, not out).