LAHORE: An impressive half-century from Hashim Amla and a rapid cameo by Thisara Perera guided the ICC World XI to an exciting seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in the second Twenty20 International of the Independence Cup here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday.
Needing 175 for victory, Hashim and Perera collected 69 runs in their unbroken fourth-wicket stand to achieve the target on the penultimate ball of the innings in front of a buzzing crowd.
The three-match series after this game is now tied 1-1 with the final T20 scheduled for Friday.
Left-handed Perera’s aggressive 19-ball 47 with five towering sixes and his two wickets for 23 played crucial role in the victory and earned him the man-of-the-match award.
Amla, the classy right-handed opener, remained unbeaten for a splendid 55-ball 72 laced with five fours and two sixes.
Perera hit a full-pitched delivery from pacer Rumman Raees in the last over for a straight six to help the World XI reach the target which a bit earlier looked tough when the visitors required 33 runs in the last two overs.
Right-arm pace bowler Sohail Khan conceded 20 runs in the 19th over as Perera hit him for two sixes.
And then needing 13 runs in the final over, the burly-built Perera gave little trouble to his senior partner Amla, as the former completed the job in style.
Earlier, Tamim Iqbal of Bangladesh and Amla gave the visitors an impressive start of 47 in 5.3 overs.
Left-handed Tamim, who mauled spinner Imad Wasim for 16 runs in the third over of the innings, with one six and two fours, was finally dismissed when Shoaib Malik held a fine catch at square leg off Sohail.
However, Hashim and Australia’s Tim Paine stood firm reaching 50 in the seventh over when the latter smashed a four off Mohammad Nawaz, who was playing his first international match after completing a two-month suspension by the PCB for breaching the code of conduct.
When Hashim pulled Shadab Khan for a six over mid-wicket, the visitors looked in a position to chase the target.
Imad cleaned up Paine with the total on 71 to return figures of 1-27 off four overs.
World XI skipper Faf du Plessis survived a close run-out chance when his counterpart Sarfraz uprooted the stumps in a flash.
Even the strong-looking pair of Amla and Du Plessis failed to keep up the run-rate as it increased to 11.2 by the 12th over.
Amla completed his sixth half-century in T20 Internationals off 38 balls.
But soon he lost Plessis, who after slamming Nawaz for a six, got out the very next delivery, caught by Shadab at deep cover as the scoreboard showed 106-3 in the 14th over.
Earlier on Wednesday, valuable contributions from Babar Azam, Ahmed Shehzad and veteran Shoaib steered Pakistan to a healthy-looking 174-6.
Openers Ahmed Shehzad and Fakhar Zaman provided the hosts with a brisk 41-run start in 4.5 overs before the latter was adjudged LBW off leg-spinner Samuel Badree as the ball struck on the left-hander’s back leg. He scored a 13-ball 21 striking four fours.
Shehzad, who looked somewhat tentative in the first match, played a better knock in this game, which was the right-hander’s 50th T20 International.
Pakistan reached the 50-run mark in 7.2 overs and crossed the 100 mark in 12.2 overs.
Babar, the man-of-the-match in the series opener, and Shehzad added a valuable 59 for the second wicket. In the 13th over, Shehzad, looking to clear long-on, was caught by David Miller off Imran Tahir for a 34-ball 43 laced with five boundaries and a six.
At 135, Babar was sent back by Badree, who had the batsman — looking to smash the bowler over long-on — caught by Miller at deep mid-on for a 38-ball 45 studded with five fours.
Shoaib and Imad Wasim helped Pakistan made the 150-run mark in 17.5 overs.
Shoaib tried to lift the run-rate and in the process cracked three sixes and a four in a 23-ball 39 but he did not get support from the other end.
Imad (11-ball 15, two fours) and Sarfraz (first ball duck) went cheaply to Perera. Shoaib was out on the last ball of the innings as Sohail remained unbeaten (1).
Badree (2-31), Perera (2-23 of three overs) and Tahir (1-29 of three) were the prominent World XI bowlers.
Both the teams made two changes to their playing XI.
The World XI included Paul Collingwood of England who featured in his first T20 International 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.
Pakistan included pacer Usman Shinwari and spinner Mohammad Nawaz as the duo replacing unfit Hasan Ali and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.
Fakhar Zaman lbw b Badree 21
Ahmed Shehzad c Miller b Imran 43
Babar Azam c Miller b Badree 45
Shoaib Malik c Collingwood b Cutting 39
Imad Wasim c Imran b Perera 15
Sarfraz Ahmed c Imran b Perera 0
Sohail Khan not out 1
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-8, NB-1) 10
TOTAL (for six wkts, 20 overs) 174
FALL OF WKTS: 1-41, 2-100, 3-135, 4-156, 5-157, 6-174.
DID NOT BAT: Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Rumman Raees Khan, Usman Khan Shinwari.
BOWLING: Morkel 4-0-20-0 (3w); Cutting 4-0-52-1 (2w); Badree 4-0-31-2 (1w); Collingwood 2-0-18-0 (1w); Perera 3-0-23-1 (1nb); Imran Tahir 3-0-29-1 (1w).
Tamim Iqbal c Malik b Sohail 23
H.M. Amla not out 72
T.D. Paine b Imad 10
F. du Plessis c Shadab b Nawaz 20
N.L.T.C. Perera not out 47
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-2) 4
TOTAL (for three wkts, 19.5 overs) 175
FALL OF WKTS: 1-47, 2-71, 3-106.
DID NOT BAT: D.A. Miller, P.D. Collingwood, B.C.J. Cutting, M. Morkel, Imran Tahir, S. Badree.
BOWLING: Imad Wasim 4-0-27-1; Sohail Khan 4-0-44-1 (1w); Usman Khan Shinwari 1-0-10-0; Rumman Raees Khan 3.5-0-36-0 (1w); Mohammad Nawaz 3-0-25-1; Shadab Khan 4-0-32-0.
RESULT: World XI won by seven wickets to level three-match at 1-1.
UMPIRES: Shozab Raza (Pakistan) and Ahmed Shahab (Pakistan).
TV UMPIRE: Ahsan Raza (Pakistan).
MATCH REFEREE: R.B. Richardson (West Indies).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Thisara Perera.
FIRST MATCH: Pakistan won by 20 runs.
THIRD MATCH: Friday, 7:00pm (PST).
Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2017