Hashim Amla’s unbeaten 72 and Thisara Perera’s blistering knock helped World XI beat Pakistan cricket team by seven wickets in the Independence Cup second Twenty20 at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Wednesday. (Match Highlights)
After Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik powered Pakistan to 174/6, the World XI – led by Amla and Perera – chased the target with a ball to spare to level the three-match series 1-1. (Scorecard)
Choosing to bat, Fakhar Zaman and Ahmed Shehzad got Pakistan off to a solid start before leg-spinner Samuel Badree removed the latter in the very fifth over. The opener smacked four boundaries in his 13-ball 21 before being trapped in front.
Shehzad and Azam then combined well to string together a solid partnership before Shehzad, who looked well set to score a fifty, fell to Imran Tahir for 43.
Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik continued to pile on the runs before a mistimed shot off Badree sent the former packing.
Malik played well for his 23-ball 39, which was studded with three sixes and a boundary.
The last three overs proved quite expensive for the World XI as Pakistan plundered 36 runs, with the last six deliveries yielding 17.
Thisara Perera and Samuel Badree picked up two wickets each while Ben Cutting and Imran Tahir took one apiece.
Despite a challenging target, the visitors started well with Tamim Iqbal (23) and Hashim Amla sharing a 47-run stand for the first wicket.
After Tamim and Tim Paine got out, skipper Faf du Plessis (20) got a start but failed to capitalise.
The spinners dried up the run flow and at one stage, the required rate went well beyond 12.
But Perera’s blitzkrieg and Amla’s maturity towards the end helped the World XI seal a thriller. The duo put on an unbeaten 69-run stand off just 35 deliveries.
The third and the final match of the series will be played at the same venue on Friday.