Amla, Per­era lead World XI T20 win over Pak­istan

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Sri Lanka all-rounder This­ara Per­era hit a tow­er­ing six off the penul­ti­mate ball to steer the World XI to a thrilling seven-wicket win over Pak­istan in the sec­ond Twenty20 yes­ter­day. Per­era made a whirl­wind 19ball 47 not out with five sixes, while Hashim Amla fin­ished not out 72 off 55 balls to help the World XI over­haul a 175-run tar­get and level the three­match se­ries 1-1 be­fore a packed Gaddafi sta­dium in La­hore.

That left the se­ries in­trigu­ingly placed with the fi­nal match on Fri­day, also in La­hore. Pak­istan had reg­is­tered a 20-run win in Tues­day’s first match, which marked the re­turn of in­ter­na­tional cricket to Pak­istan.

Left-han­der Per­era went on a ram­page as the visi­tors needed 33 off the last two overs, smash­ing two sixes off the 19th over bowled by So­hail Khan be­fore seal­ing the match in the last over.

Amla, who scored his sev­enth in­ter­na­tional Twenty20 half-cen­tury, was the stead­ier of the two, with two sixes and five fours as he helped Per­era add 69 runs for the fourth wicket off just 35 balls. That part­ner­ship lifted the World XI af­ter they lost Tamim Iqbal (23), Tim Paine (10) and skip­per Faf du Plessis (20).

“It was a very happy day,” said Per­era. “Hash (Amla) told me to stay till the last moment be­cause we can catch up. I lis­tened to him and we did re­ally well. “It’s a habit for me to be in the sit­u­a­tion like this. This is a dream come true for me play­ing in this World XI. Thanks to Pak­istan’s fans for com­ing out in good num­bers.”

Pak­istan cap­tain Sar­fraz Ahmed gave credit to the visi­tors. “World XI de­serves the credit,” said Ahmed. “Amla and Per­era kept it till late and did it. Our bowlers are young and this is an oc­ca­sion for them to learn how to bowl in such sit­u­a­tions.

“We were also a lit­tle sloppy in the field. The score was good enough but if the ex­e­cu­tion was bet­ter in de­fend­ing, we would have pulled it off.”

Pak­istan had scored 174-6 in their 20 overs. Babar Azam (45), Ahmed She­hzad (43) and Shoaib Malik (39) had good starts but none of them went on to score big, as Pak­istan found it tough go­ing on a slow and low pitch af­ter win­ning the toss.

Opener Fakhar Za­man fell for 21 in the fifth over be­fore She­hzad and Azam stead­ied the in­nings with a 59run stand for the sec­ond wicket. Malik hit two sixes in the last over be­fore hol­ing out off the last de­liv­ery of the in­nings.

Dur­ing his 23-ball knock Malik be­came the lead­ing run scorer for Pak­istan in Twenty20 in­ter­na­tional cricket, over­haul­ing Umar Ak­mal’s ag­gre­gate of 1,690 runs in 88 matches by two runs.

He now has 1,692 in 88 matches. Per­era (2-23) and West In­dian spin­ner Badree (2-31) were the main wicket tak­ers for the visi­tors. — AFP

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