Pakistan, World XI to clash in second Independence Cup T20

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Pakistan, World XI to clash in second Independence Cup T20

Babar Azam produced the best T20 score of his career by hitting 86 to inspire Pakistan to victory in the series opener on Tuesday, but Perera starred as the World XI struck straight back on Wednesday with a seven-wicket win.

Pakistan had scored 174-6 in their 20 overs. Chasing a target of 175, World XI reached the target in the final of the match with a ball to spare.

That partnership between Amla and Perera was worth 69 runs in just 35 balls, and lifted World XI after they had lost Tamim Iqbal (23), Tim Paine (10) and Faf du Plessis (20) by the end of the 14th over.

Yesterday, Pakistan beat the World XI by 20 runs in an exciting finish, celebrating the return of worldwide cricket to the country.

Amla, who scored his seventh worldwide Twenty20 half-century, was the steadier of the two, with two sixes and five fours as he helped Perera add 69 runs for the fourth wicket off just 35 balls. "Hash (Amla) told me to stay till the last moment because we can catch up. Thanks to Pakistan's fans for coming out in good numbers".

With 33 needed off the last two overs, Thisara Perera slammed a blistering 19-ball to finish off the chase in style. The three-match series is now locked at 1-1.

Opener Fakhar Zaman, like he did on Tuesday, promised a big knock, hitting three fours in one Ben Cutting over and another in the next Badree over. From thereon once again it was Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam who forged a crucial partnership.

Perera took the finishing duties on himself, hitting two sixes in the 19th over bowled by Sohail Khan, and had luck on his side, being dropped at the long-of boundary. Malik's 23-ball 39 also saw him becoming the leading run-scorer for Pakistan in all T20Is.

Malik hit two sixes in the last over before holing out off the last delivery of the innings.

The third and last T-20 match will be played on Friday.

During his 23-ball knock Malik became the leading run scorer for Pakistan in Twenty20 global cricket, overhauling Umar Akmal's aggregate of 1,690 runs in 88 matches by two runs.

For Pakistan, paceman Sohail Khan and leg-spinner Shadab Khan finished with two wickets apiece.

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