— The greens won the series, but visiting side leaves after winning hearts of Pakistani cricket fans
Pakistan won the ‘finale’ against the World XI by 33 runs after the visiting side failed to achieve the target of 184.
The third and final match of the Independence Cup saw Pakistan batting first against World XI. Owing to the marvellous innings of opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad, Pakistan won the three-match Independence Cup T20 series at Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.
Pakistan gave the target of 184 runs to the visitors. Shehzad played blistering innings of 89 runs (55) to put Pakistan in a commanding position.
In the ninth over, Pakistan lost Fakhar Zaman after the Pakistani batsman had scored 27 runs.
Babar Azam and Ahmed Shehzad built a scintillating partnership which lasted till the 18th over when the latter was run out after amazing batting show with the score of 89. Pakistan by now had scored 164 runs for the loss of two wickets.
In the last over, Pakistan lost two wickets and scored 8 runs. The innings ended with the greens giving the World XI a target of 184 for the loss of four wickets.
In the second innings, Pakistan started strong and took the first wicket in the second over of the match as Tamim Iqbal fell to an Usman Khan ball. At this stage, the World XI were at 15/1.
Pakistan’s balling kept the aggression up and in the fifth over, the visiting side lost Cutting. Hasan Ali’s brilliant ball clipped the stumps and Cutting headed back to the pavilion after scoring just 5.
On the very next ball, Hashim Amla was victim to the huge mix-up between him and du Plessis. As a result of the mix-up, Amla was disappointingly out after scoring 21 runs.
Bailey then fell to an Imad Wasim ball in the 8th over. The batsman scored just 3 runs and did not help World XI’s cause as the visiting side had scored 53 runs for the loss of four wickets.
Du Plessis was the next batsman to head back after the newly-appointed South African captain had scored just 5 runs. The World XI did ignite a slight comeback, but that did not last long as Pakistan got another wicket, this time Rumman Raees struck and got Perera’s wicket in the 14th over.
World XI were at 137 runs before the fall of their seventh wicket. Miller fell to a Hasan Ali ball. The batman had managed 32 runs on 29 balls. In the next over Morkel was run out at just 1 and the World XI side was in heaps of trouble.
With 44 runs required from 12 balls, and with only two wickets remaining, Pakistan was in complete control. No more wickets fell during the rest of the match but it was sublime death-bowling from Hasan Ali and Rumman Raees, conceding only 10 runs from both the overs.
To the huge cheers of the jam-packed Gaddafi, Pakistan had won the match, but the World XI would leave Pakistan after winning the hearts of all cricket lovers in the country.
LAHORE: Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq waves out to the people while arriving in a traditional rickshaw.
CM CONGRATULATES PAKISTAN XI TEAM OVER THEIR SUCCESS:
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif congratulated Pakistan XI for winning the third T20 match and Independence Cup against the World XI.
In his message of felicitation, the chief minister said that the players of Pakistan XI have won the Independence Cup by playing marvellously, while according the opportunity of happiness to the people. Due to the aggressive bating of Ahmed Shehzad, Pakistan has made the winning score. Pakistani players have outclassed the World XI in fielding and bowling, as well, he added.
He said that the victory in Independence Cup is the conquest of moderate and tolerant Pakistan, adding that irrespective of win or defeat, a peaceful Pakistan has won today.
“It is the message to the enemies of peace that the nation will never allow their negative designs to succeed. The tremendous interest of the people in the event is the proof that Pakistanis are a peaceful nation,” he said.
He added that the holding of the event in a peaceful and congenial environment has paved the way for international cricket in Pakistan.