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September 13, 2017



Pakistan celebrate international revival with win

LAHORE: Pakistan on Tuesday took a giant step towards reviving international 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 international status by the International Cricket Council (ICC), is only the second time Pakistan has hosted an international match since the team bus of the visiting Sri Lankan team was attacked in March 2009.

Long before the match started, around 9,000 police officers and paramilitary forces were deployed to the area, cordoning off the team’s hotels and stadium. But the large security presence did little to tamper the enthusiasm of cricket-mad fans.

“I came here early to watch the teams come but that was not possible due to security so I only watched them in the ground and it made my day,” said spectator Azfar Ali.

Pakistan, sent into bat by World XI skipper Faf du Plessis, notched 197-5 with Babar Azam hitting a rapid 52-ball 86. His career best Twenty20 score had ten boundaries and two sixes.Azam added 122 for the second wicket with Ahmed Shehzad (39) as Pakistan built on the loss of opener Fakhar Zaman for eight.

Shoaib Malik smashed a 20-ball 38 with two sixes and four boundaries to give the final touches to the innings.The World XI started off well with Tamim Iqbal hitting 18 with three boundaries and Hashim Amla smashing three boundaries and a six in his 17-ball 26 but left-arm pacer Rumman Raees dismissed both in the same over to put the brakes on their innings.

Skipper Faf du Plessis hit four boundaries and a six while Darren Sammy smashed three sixes — both scoring 29 — but were unable to see their team through.Paceman Sohail Khan and leg-spinner Shadab Khan also took two wickets apiece.

The second game is on Wednesday (today) and the third on Friday — both at the same venue. Pakistan hopes the series will help end their international isolation, with Sri Lanka due to play a T20I in October followed by three T20I against the West Indies in November.

Six Pakistani players — Azam, Ashraf, Zaman, Shadab, Raees and Hasan Ali — played their first international match on the home soil.

World XI won toss


Fakhar Zaman c Amla b Morkel      8

Ahmed Shehzad c Sammy b Cutting          39

Babar Azam c Miller b Imran 86

Shoaib Malik b Perera          38

*†Sarfraz Ahmed c Paine b Perera  4

Imad Wasim not out  15

Faheem Ashraf not out        0

Extras (lb 1, w 6)     7

Total (5 wickets; 20 Overs)  197

Did not bat: Shadab Khan, Sohail Khan, Hasan Ali, Rumman Raees

Bowling: Morkel 4-0-32-1; N Perera 4-0-51-2; Cutting 4-0-38-1; Imran 4-0-34-1; Elliott 2-0-17-0; Sammy 2-0-24-0

Fall: 1-8, 2-130, 3-142, 4-161, 5-182

World XI

Tamim Iqbal b Rumman       18

H M Amla c Imad b Rumman          26

†T D Paine c Rumman b Sohail       25

*F du Plessis c sub (U Amin) b Shadab      29

D A Miller st Sarfraz b Shadab        9

G D Elliott c Imad b Sohail    14

N L T C Perera run out        17

D J G Sammy not out          29

B C J Cutting not out 0

Extras (lb 6, w 4)     10

Total (7 wickets; 20 Overs)  177

Did not bat: M Morkel, Imran Tahir

Bowling: Imad 4-0-22-0; Sohail 4-0-28-2; Hasan 4 0-44-0; Rumman 3-0-37-2; Faheem 1-0-7-0; Shadab 4-0-33-2

Fall: 1-43, 2-48, 3-101, 4-108, 5-123, 6-145, 7-173

Result: Pakistan won by 20 runs

Man of the Match: Babar Azam (Pakistan)

Series: Pakistan lead the 3-match series by 1-0

T20I debut: Faheem Ashraf (Pakistan)

Umpires: Ahsan Raza and Aleem Dar (Pakistan). TV Umpires: Shozab Raza (Pakistan). Match Referee: Sir Richie Richardson (Australia)