Hosts beat World XI in first international since 2009
“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 leftarm 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.
For Pakistan, paceman Sohail Khan and leg-spinner Shadab Khan finished with two wickets apiece.
World XI skipper du Plessis blamed his dismissal for the team’s loss.
“I needed to get a 50 or 60 for us to win,” he said, adding that it was “great to play in front of the Pakistani fans.”
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed thanked the crowd.
“It was a historic occasion and I thank the crowd for coming in good numbers,” said Ahmed.
“It was a very important match and I think no praise is too high for our players, especially Azam.”
Pakistan hopes the series will showcase an improved security situation as it seeks to entice other foreign opponents.
Sri Lanka are due to play a Twenty20 in October, and will be followed by the West Indies who are due to play a mini-series of three Twenty20s in November.
Tuesday marked the first time that five of the Pakistan players – Ashraf, Zaman, Shadab, Raees and Hasan Ali — played an international match on home soil. AFP
Pakistan players celebrate their win against World XI in Lahore on Tuesday.