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Babar gets skipper's nod after 'magnificent' knock against World XI

Updated September 13, 2017
“Babar batted well and laid a strong foundation for a strong total which the World XI failed to chase,” says Sarfraz — AP
“Babar batted well and laid a strong foundation for a strong total which the World XI failed to chase,” says Sarfraz — AP

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmad said Babar Azam — Man of the Match in the first Independence Cup T20 — played a magnificent innings on Tuesday night to lead the side to success against the World XI at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium.

“He [Babar] batted really well and laid a strong foundation for a considerable total which the World XI failed to chase,” Sarfraz said in his post-match comments after Pakistan beat World XI by 20 runs.

"As we lost Fakhar in the very first over, Babar's knock gave stability to our innings," he said.

“We played good cricket and will try to maintain consistency in the coming games to achieve the desired results,” he said while adding that efforts will be made to "overcome the flaws noticed in today's game.”

Sarfraz said he was pleased to see that young players are rising up to the occasion and keeping up with the expectations.

“Another positive aspect is that the players are striving to improve their physical fitness, which was apparent in today's match,” he said.

He expressed gratitude towards the crowd for encouraging both teams to play the best possible cricket.

World XI captain Faf du Plessis said the Pakistan team played good cricket and won the match by building up an early partnership, whereas, his side could not consolidate their batting lineup.

“We will be looking into today's game to come up with a better plan to produce good results,” du Plessis said.

Pakistan team's hero for the day, Babar Azam said he batted with a strategy in mind after assessing the wicket and played the inning without taking on any pressure.

“I am happy that I played my part in my team's success and I am very delighted that Pakistan has beaten World XI which comprises some of the very experienced players from around the world,” he said.

Babar said his plan was simple — to build the innings with a solid partnership, and "Ahmad Shahzad helped me in achieving this objective."

He thanked the ICC for sending World XI to Pakistan to facilitate the resumption of international cricket in the country.

“We as a team always try to give one hundred per cent in every match,” the young gun said, adding that all the players were very excited to play in front of a full house.

Babar said that playing at the home ground, in front of your won crowd is a very special feeling.

“Our mind is set upon making a clean sweep in the series against World XI, all of us are committed towards bringing our best game to the ground each day," the first T20's Man of the Match concluded.