Lahore: World XI rode on a superb late charge by Hashim Amla and Thisara Perera to defeat Pakistan by seven wickets in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Gadaffi Stadium here on Wednesday.
In a nail biting finish, World XI overhauled the target of 175 runs with just one ball to spare. The three-match series is now locked at 1-1. Pakistan had won the first match by 20 runs.
Amla and Perera played a crucial role for the visitors with an unbeaten partnership of 69 runs off just 29 balls.
Amla was the highest scorer among the visitors, scoring 72 runs off 55 deliveries with five boundaries and two sixes.
Perera plundered 47 runs off a mere 19 balls with five huge sixes studding his power packed innings. Fittingly, it was the Sri Lankan star who hit the winning runs, smashing a delivery by Pakistan pacer Rumman Raees into the sightscreen.
With the visitors needing six runs off the last two balls, Raees seemed to have buckled under the pressure as he produced a juicy full toss which Perera promptly smashed into the night sky.
For Pakistan, Imad Wasim, Sohail Khan and Mohammad Nawaz took a wicket each.
The visitors suffered an early blow when opener Tamim Iqbal mistimed an attempted slog off Sohail’s bowling. Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine followed him back to the pavilion soon after. The Australian was outfoxed by the low bounce of a delivery from Imad only to see the ball crash into his stumps.
Faf du Plessis seemed to be good touch during his brief stint in the middle, scoring 20 runs off 14 balls with two hits into the stands.
But Mohammad Nawaz seemed to have turned the tide firmly in Pakistan’s favour when du Plessis holed out to long off while going for another big hit.
However, it was not to be as Amla and Perera came together to carry the visitors to victory.
Earlier, opting to bat on winning the toss, Pakistan posted 174/6 in their 20 overs. The talented Babar Azam was their top scorer with 45. Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad also batted well for his 43.
The Pakistan batsmen, however, could build on their starts as the hosts lost wickets at regular intervals.
Pakistan: 174/6 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 45, Ahmed Shehzad 43) vs World XI: 175/3 in 19.5 overs (Hashim Amla 72 not out, Thisara Perera 47 not out).
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.