Confident Pakistan aim to wrap up Independence Cup today

A brilliant unbeaten half-century by South Africa's Hashim Amla helped the World XI win the thriller that was the second T20 by seven wickets and level the series at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Wednesday and let the last T20 global be the series decider. In reply the World XI got off to a disastrous start, losing five wickets inside the tenth over with 67 runs in the board.

Perera took the finishing duties on himself, hitting two sixes in the 19th over bowled by Sohail Khan, and had luck on his side, being dropped at the long-of boundary.

It was left to Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam to fix the innings, like they did with their 122-run stand on Tuesday.

Pakistan owe their match-winning total to Babar Azam whose 52-ball 86 set the foundation for the Pakistan total.

World XI skipper Faf du Plessis survived a close run-out chance when his counterpart Sarfraz uprooted the stumps in a flash. Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine too played like an ODI instead of T20I as he struggled against spinners Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan. "The score was good enough, but if the execution was better in defending, we would have pulled it off".

His scratchy time in the middle meant that momentum built by the World XI was lost as Pakistan managed to bring down the run-rate considerably. In the first match of Independence Cup, he leaked as many as 51 runs and then scored a mere 17 in a pursuit of colossal total.

Badree (2-31), Perera (2-23 of three overs) and Tahir (1-29 of three) were the prominent World XI bowlers. He was ably assisted by hero of the first match Babar Azam, who once again played a sensible innings, and collected 45 runs off 38 balls with the help of five fours.

Badree was one of two changes made by World XI along with England's Paul Collingwood - playing his first global since retiring in 2011.

Pakistan's experienced batsman Malik (39) lifted the total when he hit Cutting for two sixes in his 23-ball knock.

The World XI included Paul Collingwood of England who featured in his first T20 worldwide since his retirement from T20 Internationals in 2011 and Badree of the West Indies in place of Darren Sammy and New Zealand's Grant Elliott.

Perera ensured World XI takes the series to the decisive game Friday when he reached victory in style by hoisting left-armer Raees over the long-on boundary.


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