Pakistan beat World XI in 1st clash of Independence Cup

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LAHORE: Pakistan own the opening T20 clash against world XI by 20 runs much helped by Babar Azam’s career best performance at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Tuesday.

In a historic match, World XI captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and opted to field first, but his decision backfired as Pakistan posted a mammoth 197 for the loss of five wickets in their allotted 20 overs.

The star of the show for the Men in Green was young Babar Azam, who scored 86 off just 52 balls with the help of 10 boundaries and two sixes.

He was well supported by opener Ahmad Shahzad (39 off 34), whereas veteran Shoaib Malik contributed with a quick-fire 38 off just 20 balls in the later stages of the innings.

For World XI, Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera claimed two, whereas pacer Morne Morkel, Ben Cutting and leg-spinner Imran Tahir picked one wicket each.

In reply, World XI only managed to score 177-7, thanks to sublime bowling performance from pacer Sohail Khan and leg-spinner Shadab Khan.

Sohail finished his quota of four over with the figures of 2-28, whereas Shadab finished his four over with the figures of 2-33.

For visitors, captain Du Plessis (29), West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy (29 not out), Hashim Amla (26) and wicketkeeper batsman Tim Paine (25) made valuable contributions with the bat.

The second match of the series will be played tomorrow at the same venue.