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PAK v WXI, 2nd T20I Review: Amla-Perera’s unbeaten stand wins a nail-biter for the World XI

Thisara Perera's six in the penultimate ball sealed a win for the visitors.

Hashim Amla
World XI batsman Hashim Amla. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

The ‘Qazzafi’ Stadium, as the Lahoris refer it in Pakistan, was dressed up once again, in a span of 24 hours. World XI’s bowling was a bit hapless, the other night, and they bolstered it with the inclusion of Samuel Badree. Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and straight away asked Ahmed Shehzad and Fakhar Zaman to start the proceedings.

Shehzad, who looked a bit out of touch in the last game, ran hard between the wickets and found gaps at will. He along with Zaman gave the hosts a solid start, putting up 41 runs on the board before Zaman was trapped in front off Badree in the fifth over. Shehzad went on to hit five boundaries and a maximum to take Pakistan forward but missed out on his fifty by seven runs.

Babar Azam, the batsman who ruled the roast last night, was once again on song. He played the tweakers well and used the pace of the medium- fast bowlers to get to 45 off 38 balls, before departing with just over three overs left in the innings. Badree, playing his first game, didn’t disappoint. He scalped two big wickets in the game. Zaman first and then Babar.

The onus was on veteran batsman Shoaib Malik once again, to take Pakistan to a competitive total, and Malik delivered yet again. He whacked the loose ones and timed the pacers to perfection. En-route to his entertaining cameo of 23-ball 39; Malik became the highest run-getter for Pakistan in T20I, by smacking a six off Ben Cutting. He went past Umar Akmal in the process.

Discipline with the white ball

The visitors were disciplined with the ball. Morkel conceded just seven runs in his first 3 overs. Badree ended with 2/31 while Thisara Perera scalped two wickets in the slog to end with 2/23 in his 3 overs. Morkel generated good bounce kept on beating the openers on a consistent basis, where as Badree bowled stump to stump and ensured that Babar plays one cross to lose his stick.

At one point towards the end of the innings, Pakistan scored just 10 runs off 14 balls and lost two wickets before Malik handed few blows. Imad Wasim put a few boundaries off Morkel before getting out in the penultimate over, while the skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed was held on my Imran Tahir off Perera for a golden duck. The hosts ended with 174/6 in their 20 overs.

Amla played the sheet anchor’s role

Chasing 175, opener Tamim Iqbal sparkled initially, hitting two fours and a six but an outstanding catch by Shoaib Malik got Pakistan back in the match. Hashim Amla took the majority of the strike, post that, and played some silken drives. Tim Paine perished in the 10th over of the match, with the visitors still needing over 100 runs. Amla went on with his job and stroked five fours and two sixes.

He kept the visitors in the game by milking the bowlers without much ‘hurray’.All-rounder Imad Wasim did well with the ball too. He conceded just 27 runs in his four overs and picked up one wicket. With 24 needing from 10 balls, Perera, who was batting on 29 off 13, went for a big one and was dropped by Malik in the boundary. He made Malik regret the slip by whacking a six off the next ball.

The equation changed to 13 off 6 balls in no time. A few ordinary effort in the field got Amla to his second highest score in T20I cricket, and the World XI were left to score 6 off 2 balls. Faf du Plessis and Grant Elliott was talking about the latter’s ‘bat dropping’ innings in one of the PSL games, earlier this year, and Perera created one more by slapping a full toss out of the park of a gutted Ruman Raees.

Nail-biting finish

With 24 needing from 10 balls, Perera, who was batting on 29 off 13, went for a big one and was dropped by Malik in the boundary. He made Malik regret the slip by whacking a six off the next ball. The equation changed to 13 off 6 balls in no time. A few ordinary effort in the field got Amla to his second highest score in T20I cricket, and the World XI were left to score 6 off 2 balls. Faf du Plessis and Grant Elliott was talking about the latter’s ‘bat dropping’ innings in one of the PSL games, earlier this year, and Perera created one more by slapping a full toss out of the park of a gutted Ruman Raees to win the game for the World XI. Perera finished with an unbeaten 47 off 19 balls while Amla remained unbeaten on 72 with a ball to spare.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan: 174/6 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 45, Ahmed Shehzad 43; Thisara Perera 2/23)

World XI: 175/3 in 19.5 overs ( Hashim Amla 72*, Perera 47*; Imad Wasim 1/27)

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