The World XI look steady, scoring 60 runs in eight overs for the loss of one wicket as they chase a 175-run target set by Pakistan in the second Twenty20 international (T20I) of the Independence Cup series at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday.
Shoaib Malik took a brilliant catch to send Tamim back to the pavilion off Sohail Khan’s bowling. He scored 23 runs in 19 balls with the help of two fours and a six.
The World XI today seek to keep the series alive with a comeback following their defeat last night to the green shirts.
The star-studded international team restricted Pakistan to a target of 174 runs for the loss of six wickets in the first innings, which was bolstered by two solid partnerships featuring Ahmed Shehzad paired up with Fakhar Zaman and then Babar Azam.
Babar, who was awarded man of the match in yesterday’s game, today racked up 45-runs, becoming the highest scorer in the first innings.
Babar and Shehzad held the innings steady in the middle, racking up 59 runs between the two of them before Shehzad fell for 43.
Babar Azam was caught at 45 off Samuel Badree as his stand with Shoaib looked to threaten the World XI.
Shoaib Malik, the last man out in the innings, today became Pakistan’s top T20I run-scorer with 1,702 runs in the format.
The green shirts lost four wickets in the last five overs of the innings as Shoaib, Babar, Imad Wasim, and Sarfraz Ahmed were all caught out.
Imad gave Imran Tahir a simple catch while trying to get a boundary off Thisara Perera. Skipper Sarfraz got out on his first ball, also caught by Tahir.
Sarfraz won the toss today and opted to bat first. The pitch, which looks less dry today is likely to have more bounce. “It’s a pitch where most teams won’t mind batting second,” predicted former Zimbabwe cricketer Pommie Mbangwa.
There are two changes to both teams’ lineups, with Pakistan swapping out Faheem Ashraf for Muhammad Nawaz, and Usman Shinwari replacing Hassan Ali.
The World XI have Samuel Badree and Paul Collingwood coming in for Darren Sammy and Grant Elliott.
This is Collingwood’s first international match in six years. He played his last match in the 2011 World Cup against Bangladesh.
Skipper Faf du Plessis at the toss today said: “Obviously we play to win. You don’t rock up on the cricket field to just go out and have fun. This tour is not just about cricket, it’s even beyond.”
However, he added, it was “nice to play some cricket here. Nice to play with a few of the mates.”
On Tuesday night, Babar Azam led an inspired Pakistan side to a 20-run victory in the opening match of the series against the star-studded World XI side.
Man of the Match Babar laid the foundation for Pakistan’s big total with a fluent 52-ball innings laced with 10 boundaries and a brace of sixes.
The batsman lit up Gaddafi Stadium with a brilliant 86 to help Pakistan amass 197-5 in the T20I before the hosts restricted the World XI to 177-7.
It is hoped the World XI’s tour will spark the full return of international cricket to the country and the first match towards that goal didn’t disappoint.
The final match of the series will take place on Sept 15 at Gaddafi Stadium.
Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c)(wk), Muhammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari and Rumman Raees.
World XI: Tamim Iqbal, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (c), David Miller, Paul Collingwood, Thisara Perera, Tim Paine (wk), Ben Cutting, Samuel Badree, Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir.