Sports

Pakistan top World XI in historic game

Pakistan top World XI in historic game

Pakistan sealed a 20-run win over World XI in the first match of a series of three Twenty20 Internationals on Tuesday, a fixture that marked the return of big-time cricket to Pakistan amid scenes of fans being forced to deal with predictably tight security.

It was in the 19 over that World XI struck again, Perera took Imad Wasim's wicket after the Pakistani man had scored 15 runs.

For Pakistan, paceman Sohail Khan and leg-spinner Shadab Khan finished with two wickets apiece.

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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. The three-match series is now locked at 1-1.

With the visitors needing six runs off the last two balls, Raees seemed to have buckled under the pressure as he produced a juicy full toss which Perera promptly smashed into the night sky.

South African opener Hashim Amla hit an unbeaten 72 to provide stability in the tourists' top order after being set a target of 175 as Tamim Iqbal (23), Tim Paine (10) and captain Faf du Plessis (20) all fell cheaply.

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Perera plundered 47 runs off a mere 19 balls with five huge sixes studding his power packed innings.

Thisara's late push gave Du Plessis' side a chance with Amla in the other end.

In a game that far exceeded its predecessor in electricity, intensity, quality and competitiveness, World XI edged Pakistan in a nerve-wracking contest that went down to the last two balls. We bowled well today and made fewer mistakes. Hashim was unbelievable for us, we needed that one guy to bat till the end and that didn't happen yesterday. "I expect the third match to be in similar conditions so we'll look to repeat this". Tamim fell after scoring 23 runs and at this point, the World XI had 47 runs on the board with nearly 15 overs to go. Not much to say, it was a very happy day. Normally I play similarly in situations for my country as well and this has become a habit now (finishing off games). In the end they still managed 174, though against the fireworks of Perera, it was just within World XI's reach.

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