Pakistan thrash World XI to clinch Independence Cup

Sheri Evans
September 16, 2017

Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistan dished out a brilliant performance in the first T20I to take a lead in the three-match T20I series as they beat the visitors by 20-runs.

After the Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistan won the first Twenty20 worldwide (T20I) match by 20 runs on Tuesday, the World XI came back strong to comfortably grab the second game by seven wickets on Wednesday.

Earlier, a magnificent 102-run second wicket partnership between Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam helped Pakistan Eleven set a daunting target of 184 runs for the World.

Pakistan cricket Board arranged separate rides for the two star players in "rikshaws" as soon as the Pakistan innings was completed during the match.

Former New Zealand batsman Grant Elliott, part of the World XI squad on Pakistan tour on Friday said that the security arrangement is "amazing" and hoped to see the return of Test cricket to the country. Hashim Amla was involved in a mix-up with Faf du Plessis, and departed. "This series has reduced the suffocation as nearly every Pakistani enjoyed watching the cricket", said Mudassir Hussain, a 22-year old cricket lover.

Perera, who steered the World XI on Wednesday to a seven-wicket victory with a five towering sixes including the winning six, smashed 32 from just 13 balls with three sixes and two boundaries.

Live from Gaddafi Stadium Pakistan vs World XI T20 2nd match
Live from Gaddafi Stadium Pakistan vs World XI T20 2nd match

West Indies' Daren Sammy (24), England's David Miller (32) and Perera (32) tried to stabilise the innings towards the end but while trying to pace up the innings, they were also dismissed.

However, Shehzad missed out on a well-deserved century when he was dismissed for 89.

Shehzad, who hit eight fours in his 55-ball knock, upped the scoring rate in the last three overs when he smashed three successive sixes off Australian seamer Ben Cutting in the 18th over.

Afridi was the first to have a round of the stadium and while passing through different enclosures a diehard crowd gave him standing ovation.

"On a more personal note, I have a strong bond with Pakistan, having toured here with the Zimbabwe cricket team in 1993, 1996 and 1998, " Flower said.

The series was arranged as part of Pakistan's efforts to bring back global cricket to the country, which has only hosted Zimbabwe for a limited-over series in 2015.

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