Amla, Thisara star in World XI's last-over win

Pakistan to host World XI annually for next three years PCB

Amla, Thisara star in World XI's last-over win

Pakistan sealed a 20-run win over World XI in the first match of a series of three Twenty20 Internationals on Tuesday, a fixture that marked the return of big-time cricket to Pakistan amid scenes of fans being forced to deal with predictably tight security.

In a nail biting finish, World XI overhauled the target of 175 runs with just one ball to spare.

The World XI were 106 for three at the end of the 14th - still requiring 69 runs from 36 deliveries - but Amla stroked five fours and two sixes while Perera belted five sixes in an unbroken fourth wicket stand to steer their side to a pulsating win.

The World XI's victory levelled the series at 1-1 after Pakistan batsman Babar Azam starred in the first Twenty20 worldwide on Tuesday by smashing a superb 86.

Du Plessis was thrilled to have levelled the series at 1-1, and said: "We needed this to keep the series alive". But, Shoaib Malik had the final say against Tamim as the veteran caught Tamim's shot on a Sohail Khan ball.

Hashim Amla and Thisara Perera maintained the flow of runs and their wickets in tact to undo mid-match efforts of Pakistan bowlers to get 175 runs for three in 19.5 overs. It was an assault for the ages, as bit by bit the Pakistani pace bowlers caved under pressure and were obliterated by Perera. However, Hashim Amla held the innings together with a fine knock of 72 from just 55 deliveries.

Junaid Khan also congratulates World XI on their performance.

But Du Plessis' exit heralded the arrival of Perera, who struck five sixes including the match-winning hit off Rumman Raees, clubbing a full toss straight over the seamer's head to ensure Friday's finale will not be a dead rubber. Not much to say, it was a very happy day. We bowled well today and made fewer mistakes.

Another Aussie to end up in the wrong column, Paine has not had the best of times with the bat and wicket-keeping gloves in the Independence Cup so far.

"It's a habit for me to be in the situation like this. I expect the third match to be in similar conditions and hope to continue the form". This innings looked more like a catching practice at training for the World XI as soon after Sarfraz Ahmed fell in the same over after failing to score.

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