PAK­ISTAN BASK

Hosts beat World XI in first in­ter­na­tional since 2009

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LA­HORE

“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

AFP PIC

Pak­istan players cel­e­brate their win against World XI in La­hore on Tues­day.

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