Pakistan vs World XI: Babar Azam, Sohail Khan star as PAK win 1st T20 | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan vs World XI: Babar Azam, Sohail Khan star as PAK win 1st T20

Babar Azam starred with the bat while pacers Sohail Khan, Rumman Raees and leg-spinner Shadab Khan did the job with the ball as Pakistan cricket team beat ICC World XI by 20 runs in the first Twenty20 match of the Independence Cup on Tuesday

cricket Updated: Sep 12, 2017 23:30 IST
HT Correspondent
Pakistan cricket team’s Babar Azam slammed a 52-ball 86 against World XI in Lahore during the first Twenty20 match of the Independence Cup on Tuesday.
Pakistan cricket team’s Babar Azam slammed a 52-ball 86 against World XI in Lahore during the first Twenty20 match of the Independence Cup on Tuesday.(Getty Images)

A brilliant innings from Babar Azam and some fine bowling performances helped Pakistan cricket team celebrate the return of international cricket to the country with a comprehensive 20-run victory over ICC World XI in the first Twenty20 match of the Independence Cup at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Tuesday. (Match Scorecard)

After Babar Azam powered Pakistan to 197/5 with a 52-ball 86, the ICC World XI could only manage 177/7 as the hosts won the first international cricket match held in their country in two years.

This was only the second time Pakistan hosted an international match since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.

Sent in to bat by ICC World XI captain Faf du Plessis, Pakistan got off to a poor start after losing Fakhar Zaman (8) in the very first over. The opener smacked boundaries off the first two deliveries but got out couple of balls later when he edged a seaming delivery off Morne Morkel.

Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam then combined well to string together a solid partnership of 122-runs for the second wicket.

Azam played the anchor’s role but was given good support from the other end by Ahmed Shehzad, who eventually got out for 39 off 34 balls, which included three boundaries.

Babar Azam did not last long after Shehzad’s wicket and departed after a fiery knock that included 10 boundaries and two sixes.

Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik also played well for his 20-ball 38, which was studded with four boundaries and two sixes.

The last three overs proved quite expensive for the ICC World XI as Pakistan scored 48 runs with the last six deliveries yielding 21 runs.

Imad Wasim’s 15 not out off four balls included two maximums off the last three balls.

Thisara Perera was the pick of the bowlers for World XI as he was the only one to pick two wickets as three others finished with one each.

Despite a challenging target, the visitors started well with Tamim Iqbal (18) and Hashim Amla (26) stitching a 43-run stand for the first wicket.

After the openers got out, Tim Paine (25) and skipper Faf du Plessis also got (29) starts but failed to capitalise.

The visitors kept losing wickets at regular intervals which took the momentum away from them to the Pakistani cricket team.

Darren Sammy provided some fireworks towards the end with his unbeaten 16-ball 29 but that wasn’t enough as ICC World XI fell short by 20 runs.

Pacers Sohail Khan, Rumman Raees and leg-spinner Shadab Khan scalped two wickets each to help their team win with ease and take a 1-0 lead in the three-game series.

The second and third matches will also be held in Lahore on Wednesday and Friday.