Pakistan on Tuesday took a giant step towards reviving worldwide cricket at home with a 20-run victory over the World XI in a match before excited crowds amid tight security.The Twenty20 match, accorded global status by the global Cricket Council, is the first game of only the second series Pakistan has hosted since militants attacked the bus of the visiting Sri Lankan team in March 2009, killing eight people and injuring seven players and staff.The Pakistan team will lock horns with the Faf du Plessis led ICC World XI in the second match of the series on Wednesday.
Pakistan openers Fakhar Zaman and Ahmed Shehzad provided good start to the team as gathered 41 runs for the first-wicket partnership in 4.4 overs in the very next delivery, Samuel Badree took the wicket of Fakhar Zaman, who couldn't impress the spectators with his bat in the first T20 worldwide against the World XI.
Right-arm pace bowler Sohail Khan conceded 20 runs in the 19th over as Perera hit him for two sixes. Rightly so, he was adjudged Man of the Match.
Now Faf du Plessis and co will be eyeing to level the series while the Green-shirts would be aiming to wrap up the home series.
His scratchy time in the middle meant that momentum built by the World XI was lost as Pakistan managed to bring down the run-rate considerably.
Earlier in the match, Shehzad became the first Pakistan player to hit three successive sixes.
Pakistan, however, won the match 33 runs. He was ably assisted by hero of the first match Babar Azam, who once again played a sensible innings, and collected 45 runs off 38 balls with the help of five fours.
Thisara Perera and Samuel Badree bowled brilliantly for World XI as they bagged two wickets each and restricted Pakistan to post a mammoth total.
The World XI included Paul Collingwood of England who featured in his first T20 global since his retirement from T20 Internationals in 2011 and Badree of the West Indies in place of Darren Sammy and New Zealand's Grant Elliott.
Malik hit two sixes in the last over before holing out off the last delivery of the innings.
BOWLING: Morkel 4-0-20-0 (3w); Cutting 4-0-52-1 (2w); Badree 4-0-31-2 (1w); Collingwood 2-0-18-0 (1w); Perera 3-0-23-1 (1nb); Imran Tahir 3-0-29-1 (1w).
Pakistan included pacer Usman Shinwari and spinner Mohammad Nawaz as the duo replacing unfit Hasan Ali and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.
Perera ensured World XI takes the series to the decisive game Friday when he reached victory in style by hoisting left-armer Raees over the long-on boundary.