Arafat becomes second-highest Twenty20 wicket-taker

Yasir Arafat, the Pakistan allrounder representing Rawalpindi Rams in the RBS Twenty20 Cup, has become the second-highest wicket-taker in this format.

Arafat helped Rawalpindi beat the Quetta Bears on Sunday with a three-wicket haul, and stands behind Tyron Henderson's Twenty20 record with 62 wickets in 45 matches.

Henderson, Middlesex's South Africa allrounder, has 73 wickets at 20.80 from 60 matches. Only one other Pakistan player has taken 50 or more wickets in Twenty20 cricket - Azhar Mahmood, with 52 in 48 matches at an average of 22.40.

"I am delighted to have achieved such a distinction," Arafat told the News. "I would try to become the highest wicket-taker in the shortest version of the game. I want my team [Rawalpindi] to go all the way to win the Cup."

Arafat, 26, has played one Test, eight one-day internationals, and four Twenty20 matches for Pakistan. On Test debut against India in Bangalore in December 2007 Arafat took seven wickets and scored 44 in the first innings.

He was part of the Kent team which narrowly lost to Middlesex in the Twenty20 Cup final recently and was awarded a central contract for the first time in 2007 after his impressive stint with the club. Arafat recently became the fifth Pakistan player to sign with the Kolkata Knight Riders, an IPL franchise, joining his compatriots Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Salman Butt and Mohammad Hafeez.