Pakistan had a pitch-perfect ending to the Independence Cup 2017 as they won the final by a big margin of 33 runs. David Miller, Darren Sammy tried hard in the death overs but could not take the side home. Sammy lost partners in the end as the required run rate in the death overs was too much to handle. Sarfraz Ahmed & Co. did not falter as they had sealed the match with 1 over to go. World XI needed 39 off the last over and all Rumaan Raees had to do was to bowl 6 legal deliveries.

Perera caused jitters

It was a spirited effort from Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera who got infused energy back into the game. He came to bat when World XI had lost 5 wickets for 67 runs. Perera struck three sixes in a row off Shadab Khan’s bowling bringing his team back in contention. But his cameo ended as he got out to a diving catch from Babar Azam in the covers. He scored 32 runs from 13 balls.

World XI’s horrible start

World XI got off to a horrible start despite the three boundaries from Tamim Iqbal in the first over. The Bangladeshi opener got out for 14 in the second over to Usman Khan. Ben Cutting followed him as well as he played on Hasan Ali’s ball. Faf du Plessis tried to get the innings back on track but ended up doing the opposite. He got Amla runout through a terrible mixup and himself departed for 13. George Bailey played his first match on the tour and disappointed big time by wasting 12 deliveries and scoring just 3 runs.

Pakistan’s start

Earlier, Pakistan got off to a great start once again batting first. Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman got out after getting a start because of an unfortunate runout where Ahmed Shehzad’s drive brushed Darren Sammy’s fingers and hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end. Babar Azam joined Shehzad in the middle and they stitched a partnership of 102 runs for the second wicket.

Shehzad’s onslaught

Shehzad answered his critics by scoring at a strike rate of 161.82. He scored 89 runs from 55 balls before getting runout. The 25-year-old even got a record to his name by becoming the only Pakistani batsman to hit three sixes in a row. He achieved this feat in the 18th over against Ben Cutting. Though he got lucky when Imran Tahir dropped his catch at the boundary.

Azam missed out on another half-century as he got out for 48 runs from 31 balls. Imad Wasim got out for a duck whereas Shoaib Malik’s cameo helped Pakistan to post a par score of 183 for 3 on the board.