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It was surprising to see the Lahore crowd cheering for us: Hashim Amla

Opener Hashim Amla top scored for World XI with an unbeaten 72*.

Hashim Amla and Thisara Perera
Hashim Amla and Thisara Perera. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

South Africa’s modern great Hashim Amla was taken aback by the kind of reception he received during the first two T20I games against Pakistan in the Independence Cup. The fans in Lahore were seen chanting the names of their favorite cricketers, and the spectators were cheering for both the sides.

The crowd cheered him to a great extent, even when he was seen guiding his side home in the 2nd T2oI. Amla remained unbeaten on 72*, his second highest score in T20I cricket, and played a vital role in securing a victory in a must-win game.

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Surreal experience

“I have never experienced that and I think most of the players have their name shouted out by the crowd at one stage or the other, it was quite surprising,” Amla told media after the 2nd T20I in Lahore on Wednesday. “But, the crowd support has been great here,” he added.

Experience here has been fantastic: Amla

“Experience here has been fantastic, I speak for all the World XI players because we have been looked after really well,” he said. “The hospitality and warmth we received from the general public has been overwhelming, we are happy that we came,” added the 34-year-old former captain.

Talking about the possibility of South Africa visiting Pakistan later this year, Amla said “I am sure when all five of us go back, the SA board will probably ask us about our experience here. And we all will be honest that we had a great experience. But I am sure there are a lot of other things that are going to be in place. It is not up to us, we will give our feedback and leave it to our boards and everybody else to decide,” he said.

Both the sides will now meet in the decider on 15th. The loss in the 2nd T2oI, was Pakistan’s first defeat on home soil.

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