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Afridi magic seals victory for the Royals

Shahid Afridi stared with the bat and ball to help the Hampshire Royals cruise to a 35 run victory over the Sussex Sharks to strengthen their chances of securing a place in the Friends Life t20 quarter finals.

The former Pakistan skipper smashed 29 runs from just 17 balls to get the Royals innings off to a dramatic start before he tore through the Sharks middle order picking up three wickets.

Having struggled down the order in his previous two games, Afridi opened the batting with Michael Lumb and smashed two fours and two sixes before he was bowled by Month Panesar in the 5th over.

With Lumb (15) already back in the dugout after he was run out by Lou Vincent, Afridi departed having helped the Royals reach 49-2 after just 4.3 overs.

James Vince (3) quickly followed, and although Jimmy Adams (26) and Sean Ervine (22) enjoyed productive contributions the Sharks fought their way back into the game to leave them facing a run chase of just 127.

Chris Nash (16) and Luke Wright (24) got the reply off to a positive start with an opening stand of 20 but once Dimitri Mascarenhas struck in the 3rd over to remove Nash the Sharks collapsed in dramatic style.

Afridi (10-3) and Imran Tahir (13-3) led the way as the Royals overseas players dispatched the Sharks middle order with ease before Dominic Cook (28-2) wrapped up the tail to leave the visitors 91 all out.

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