Fly Emirates XI v Surrey, Dubai March 19, 2010

Surrey overcome Shahid Afridi blast

Mark Pennell in Dubai

Surrey 159 for 6 (Hamilton-Brown 41, Spriegal 40) beat Fly Emirates XI 151 for 8 (Afridi 35) by eight runs

Shahid Afridi gave Surrey a few headaches and almost caused an upset in the opening game of the inaugural Emirates Airline Twenty20 event in Dubai.

Unable to play in the IPL, Afridi agreed to guest for the Fly Emirates side consisting of airline admin staff and baggage handlers, and he lit up their pursuit of 160 by clattering a cameo 35 from 20 balls before Surrey regained the initiative to win by eight runs.

On a slow, low and grassless surface at 7he Sevens stadium in the sandy suburbs of Dubai, the Fly Emirates side were struggling to chase at eight an over until Afridi's incredible bat speed showed the part-timers how it should be done. He collected three fours and two sixes in taking his side to 121 before becoming the fourth man out as he lofted a catch to long on against new Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown.

Inevitably, without the influence of Afridi the Emirates side capitulated thereafter as Matthew Spriegel, Jonathan Batty and Hamilton-Brown bagged two wickets apiece to secure their win.

On his captaincy debut, Hamilton-Brown led from the front with a top-score of 41 from 23 balls as he and second-wicket partner Usman Afzaal (23) added 73 in 10 overs. With no pace in the pitch, cross-batted shots proved difficult, but power hitting through the line appeared effective for Spriegel, who chipped in with a late, unbeaten 40 from 34 balls that took Surrey to a score they just felt able to defend.