Pakistan on Tuesday took a giant step towards reviving worldwide cricket at home with a 20-run victory over the World XI in a match before excited crowds amid tight security.The Twenty20 match, accorded global status by the global Cricket Council, is the first game of only the second series Pakistan has hosted since militants attacked the bus of the visiting Sri Lankan team in March 2009, killing eight people and injuring seven players and staff.The Pakistan team will lock horns with the Faf du Plessis led ICC World XI in the second match of the series on Wednesday. Pakistan, who won the toss and elected to bat, made 174-6 in the second Twenty20 global against the World XI at Gaddafi Stadium on September 13.
South African opener Hashim Amla hit an unbeaten 72 to provide stability in the tourists' top order after being set a target of 175 as Tamim Iqbal (23), Tim Paine (10) and captain Faf du Plessis (20) all fell cheaply.
Faf du Plessis tried to smack a few around the mark trying to hit the ball around the park but his stay at the crease was cut short by Shadab. It was a collective effort from the Pakistan batting line up which kept the scoreboard ticking but they were not allowed to run away with it in the death overs. In the first match of Independence Cup, he leaked as many as 51 runs and then scored a mere 17 in a pursuit of colossal total.
Babar Azam was once again sublime, hitting five sweetly timed boundaries in his 38-ball 45. Imad Wasim was another batsman who contributed significant 15 runs as the Pakistani batsmen failed to hit huge shots and big total.
Badree (2-31), Perera (2-23 of three overs) and Tahir (1-29 of three) were the prominent World XI bowlers.
Malik in particular was in stupendous form, smacking three sixes in a quickfire innings of 39 runs off just 23 deliveries.
Both the teams made two changes to their playing XI.
Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf are expected to regain their places in the playing XI for Pakistan.
Perera ensured World XI takes the series to the decisive game Friday when he reached victory in style by hoisting left-armer Raees over the long-on boundary.
Still needing 33 runs off the last two overs, Perera and Amla took 20 off Sohail's 19th over that saw Shoaib Malik dropping the Sri Lankan left-hander's easy catch at long off.
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