Amla, Perera take World XI home against Pakistan

Lynette Rowe
September 14, 2017

Hashim Amla anchored a chase that seemed just out of World XI's reach with an unbeaten 72 off 55 balls.

Ever since the ICC World-XI landed on Pakistani soil, it has been a pompous revel for them off the field.

With the ball, Thisara Perera picked up two wickets and hit a match-winning 47 to take his side to a win.

The World XI left out Darren Sammy and Grant Elliott for Paul Collingwood and Samuel Badree.

Coming in to bat at the death, Perera arrived to the crease with the World XI floundering and losing its way in the middle of the innings.

The World XI restricted Pakistan to a target of 174 runs for the loss of six wickets in the first innings, which was bolstered by two partnerships featuring Ahmed Shehzad paired up with Fakhar Zaman and then Babar Azam. Experienced Shoaib Malik also chipped in with a 20-ball 38.

The Twenty20 match, accorded worldwide status by the global Cricket Council, is only the second time Pakistan has hosted an global match since militants attacked the bus of the visiting Sri Lankan team in March 2009, killing eight people and injuring seven players and staff.

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Malik tonked three huge sixes at the death to take Pakistan to 174. From 41 for one, Shehzad and Babar Azam continued the slog scoring 43 and 45 respectively with 10 fours, half of each to either credit and a six from the opener.

It is hoped the World XI's tour will spark the full return of worldwide cricket to the country and the first match towards that goal didn't disappoint.

The World XI is something of a misnomer because only seven of the players are current internationals for their country: the five South Africans, Tamim Iqbal of Bangladesh and Thisara Perera of Sri Lanka.

After Tamim and Tim Paine got out, skipper Faf du Plessis (20) got a start but failed to capitalise. At halfway mark, World XI needed 103 runs to win.

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

Both teams made two changes to their lineups, with Pakistan swapping out Faheem Ashraf and Hassan Ali for Mohammad Nawaz and Usman Shinwari. Nerves had begun to fray on both sides, with Pakistan captain Sarfraz looking extremely agitated with the poor fielding and wayward bowling from his charges.

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