Zazai blitzes 12-ball 50 to equal ‘idol’ and rival Gayle

Hazratullah Zazai equalled Chris Gayle’s record while playing in the Afghanistan Premier League. (AFP pic)

SHARJAH: Hazratullah Zazai smashed a blistering half-century off just 12 balls in the Afghanistan Premier League on Sunday to equal the all-time T20 record held by his “idol” Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh.

The 20-year-old batsman blasted left-arm spinner Abdullah Mazari for six sixes in one over on his way to tying the mark for the fastest half-century in T20 cricket.

Gayle got a close-up look at Zazai’s big-hitting as the West Indian star was in the opposing Balkh Legends team.

“It was a surreal moment for me to perform in front of my idol,” said Zazai.

“I was trying to play my natural game and wasn’t thinking of outshining anybody.”

Left-hander Zazai, who has played for Afghanistan in both one-day and T20 internationals, was eventually out for a 17-ball 62 as his team Kabul Zwanan fell 21 runs short of a target of 245 against Balkh.

“It’s a very proud moment for me,” said Zazai. “It’s a very enjoyable moment for me that my name is now linked to so many big names of the game, the real legends.”

His record-equalling innings came just five days after he scored 124 against Nangarhar Leopards in the same competition.