Pakistan welcome World XI players with a perfect win in Independence Cup 2017 opener, win by 20 runs

World XI failed to dominate Pakistan in the first T20I of the Independence Cup as the score of 197 for 5 turned out to be too good for them

Pakistan players provided the promised entertainment dose to the crowd at Gadaffi Stadium, Lahore as the country cheered the return of international cricket. Pakistan dominated the World XI side beating them by a big margin of 20 runs according to T20 format standards. There were a few hiccups on the way but Sarfraz Ahmed-led the side ensured that they start off the Independence Cup 2017 with a win.

After the top order and middle order failed to make impact the lower order could not turn around the game as well. Thisara Perera and Darren Sammy could not take their side home. Sammy did cause slight jitters with his six-hitting skills but they did not turn out to be enough to beat Pakistan. With 34 runs needed off the last over Sammy-Perera could only score 13 runs and lost a wicket.

World XI got off to a slow start and the required run rate started going up which led to openers Tamim Iqbal and Hashim Amla getting out before making a mark. Iqbal struggled to score which created pressure on Amla. Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine too played like an ODI instead of T20I as he struggled against spinners Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan.

Faf du Plessis tried to smack a few around the mark trying to hit the ball around the park but his stay at the crease was cut short by Shadab. The youngster also got rid of David Miller after getting hit for a maximum the ball before that.

Earlier World XI won the toss and chose to field first. The decision did not go in their favour as World XI bowlers were thrashed in the powerplay overs despite getting the wicket of opener Fakhar Zaman. Ahmed Shehzad struggled to score boundaries whereas Babar Azam made the most of the opportunity and scored 86 runs from 52 deliveries hitting 10 fours and 2 sixes. Pakistan got into a commanding position after the start they got.

Ben Cutting and Imran Tahir provided with breakthroughs as they took the wickets of Shehzad and Azam respectively. Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed promoted himself up the order but got out in single digits to Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera. World XI looked like making a comeback but only for a few overs.

Veteran batsman Shoaib Malik provided with a few fireworks towards the end, he scored 38 runs from 20 balls hitting 4 fours and 2 sixes before getting out.

Imad Wasim did the trick in the last over hitting 2 sixes and playing a perfect cameo.