Pakistan outplay World XI by 20 runs in series opener

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Independence Cup T20

Lahore

Pakistan thrashed a star-studded World XI team by 20 runs in the premier match of the T20I Independence Cup series at Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium on Tuesday.
Darren Sammy’s belated attempts at taking his side across the line were in vain, as the relentless Pakistani bowling attack restricted the international team to 177 runs with 7 men down in chase of the 198-run target set by the green shirts.
Sammy was on the crease at the close of the match, at 29 runs off 16 balls, with Ben Cutting who came in after Thisara Perera was run out on the second-last ball of the innings.
Earlier, Perera and Grant Elliott attempted close in on the gap by hitting a few fours but Elliott was caught off Sohail Khan’s bowling, leaving the World XI at 145 for six in the 17th over.
Spinners consolidated Pakistan’s gains in the middle, slowing the World XI’s run rate after Rumman Raees took the side’s openers in sixth over of the inning.
David Miller managed to score only 9 runs before being stumped off Shadab Khan’s bowling while Tim Paine was caught by Raees off a delivery from Sohail Khan.
Young Shadab Khan got skipper Faf du Plessis caught out as the South African tried to turn the heat back on and keep the momentum going for the struggling World XI side.
Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal (18) and Hashim Amla (26) fell victim to Rumman Raees in the sixth over of World XI innings after giving their side a solid start.
Iqbal was bowled while Amla offered a simple catch to Imad Wasim, paving way for Faf du Plessis to come in to bat.
Earlier, the green shirts racked up a solid total of 197 for the loss of five wickets in the first innings on the back of a 122-run partnership between Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam despite a shaky start to the match with Fakhar Zaman falling in the first over.
Azam, the highest run-scorer this innings, smashed 10 boundaries and two sixes, reaching his second T20I 50 in the 10th over of the innings.
He left the pitch with 86 runs off 52 balls – his highest ever T20I score – after being caught out off a delivery from Imran Tahir. 100 came up for Pakistan in the 12th over with a single off Shehzad, who was caught out by Darren Sammy in the 15th over.
Thisara Perera got skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (4) and veteran Shoaib Malik (15) out within a span of two overs at the tail-end of the innings.
As the match kicked off earlier today, World XI skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss and put Pakistan in to bat first. Sarfraz, however, appeared unfazed, telling Ramiz Raja the green shirts had “wanted to bat first anyway”.
Du Plessis told Raja the experience was “pretty new” for the World XI.
“We’ve got a long batting order and [that] gives us an opportunity to look at the wicket.—Agencies