Pakistan top World XI in historic game

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South African stroke-maker Hashim Amla spearheaded the visitors' run chase with an unbeaten 72 off 55 deliveries while Sri Lankan Thisara Perera struck a scintillating 47 not out off just 19 balls.

Pakistan were determined to clinch the series while the World XI were looking to live up to their billing by putting in a winning performance to keep the series alive.

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.

Coming in to bat at the death, Perera arrived to the crease with the World XI floundering and losing its way in the middle of the innings.

The target looked relatively tough for World XI after the departure of Faf du Plessis (20) and they were left with 41 runs to get off the final three overs. Malik also became Pakistan's most prolific runscorer in T20 internationals.

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Amla and Tamim Iqbal (18) had posted 43 off 32 balls for the first wicket before du Plessis and Paine put on a further 53 for the third wicket.

Sri Lanka paceman Perera and West Indian spinner Samuel Badree claimed two wickets apiece for the World XI.

Babar Azam was again the top-scorer for Pakistan, but ultimately it wasn't enough against the World XI at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. From 106 for three, the two slapped Pakistan with big boundaries.

Pakistan would have gone to bed on Wednesday evening wondering how they failed to win the second T20 of this Independence Cup, which would have sealed the series for the hosts. It was an assault for the ages, as bit by bit the Pakistani pace bowlers caved under pressure and were obliterated by Perera. From thereon once again it was Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam who forged a crucial partnership.

Amla, though, deserves a great deal of credit too, for the South African is nearly unrecognisable from the player who started out tentatively in the shortest format. Malik who played the final ball of the innings to be out by Ben Cutting on Collingwood's catch, saw Imad and then his captain Sarfraz march back to the pavilion thanks to Perera.

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