Pakistan resist late charge from World XI to go 1-0 up

Team captain Sarfraz Ahmed of Pakistan and International World XI captain Faf du Plessis hold the Independence Cup trophy at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadi
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed (right) and World XI captain Faf du Plessis hold the Independence Cup trophy at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore

Pakistan 197-5 (Azam 86) beat
World XI 177-7 (Sammy 29no) by 20 runs
First Twenty20 International in Lahore

Babar Azam slammed a 86 run knock as Pakistan scored 197 for five and later restricted World XI side to 177 for seven in the first of the three Twenty20 International between the two sides kicked-off in Lahore on Tuesday.

The series which is aimed to bring international cricket in Pakistan had a successful opening with the World XI side captained by Faf du Plessis featuring five players from South Africa, two from Australia and one each from West Indies, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

World XI won the toss and opted to bowl first. Fakhar Zaman (8) started the innings with a couple of boundaries in the first two deliveries but was dismissed by Morne Morkel (1-32) in the fourth delivery.

Azam (86) ensured Pakistan had the momentum on their side as he slammed five boundaries to take the home side to 49 for one in the powerplay. The 50-run stand between Azam and Ahmed Shehzad (39) came off just 35 deliveries.

In the ninth over, Azam survived a stumping appeal and soon completed his half-century off 33 balls as Pakistan reached 85 for one at halfway mark. Things looked ominous for the visitors as the duo completed the 100 run partnership and by the 14th over, Pakistan raced to 130 for one.

Even though Azam fell in the 16th over, cameos from Shoaib Malik (38) and Imad Wasim (15 not out) ensured Pakistan posted a massive total of 197 for five in the 20 overs.

Hashim Amla (26) started the chase positively but Tamim Iqbal (18) struggled to get going at the other end. World XI had a score of 39 for naught in the first five overs but the final over of the powerplay from Rumman Raees (2-37) changed the complexion of the game as he accounted for both the openers in a span of five deliveries.

Tim Paine (25) hardly got any momentum going but Faf du Plessis (29) struck four boundaries and a six in his 18 ball knock. Shadab Khan (2-33) and Sohail Khan (2-28) struck two times each in quick succession to remove both Pane, du Plessis, David Miller (9) and Grant Elliott (14) as they slipped to 145 for six in the 17th over.

Despite, late hits from Thisara Perera (17) and Darren Sammy (29 not out), World XI fell 21 runs short of the target as Pakistan gained a 1-0 lead in the three match series.

© Cricket World 2017