Wells and Afridi Lead Welsh Fire to Victory


Luke Wells‘ half-century and Shaheen Shah Afridi’s two quick wickets propelled Welsh Fire to their first Hundred victory since 2021. Despite Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 37 and Max Holden’s 37, Manchester Originals fell nine runs short of Fire’s 94 in the 40-ball match.

Afridi set the tone early on, while Haris Rauf’s tight bowling in the middle overs put Originals behind the run rate. Wells’ superb 57 off 23 balls built Fire’s total, sparking celebrations at Sophia Gardens after a winless season last year.

The match was shortened to 40 balls due to the abandonment of the women’s game, marking a first for Welsh Fire. Winning the toss, Originals opted to bowl first, but Wells took on the pace of Josh Tongue and Josh Little.

Wells continued to dominate, although Usama Mir briefly slowed the scoring before conceding runs towards the end. He eventually departed for 57, caught by Jamie Overton off Little while attempting another six.

Fire’s batting saw David Willey promoted up the order, and Glenn Phillips took charge with 19 off 12 balls. However, they fell short of reaching three figures with a final total of 94.

Afridi’s immediate impact dismissed Phil Salt and Laurie Evans, but Max Holden managed well against Afridi’s straight deliveries, conceding 24 runs.

Buttler initially played cautiously but surged with 10 runs off two balls from David Payne, adding a huge six off Afridi. Despite his efforts, Originals needed 36 runs from the last 10 balls.

Holden’s dismissal came from a well-caught shot by Phillips off Willey, but Paul Walter announced his presence with a massive six before departing. Unfortunately, Buttler’s late attack couldn’t secure a win for the Originals.

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