Amla, Perera lead World XI T20 win over Pakistan

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Pakistan on Tuesday took a giant step towards reviving worldwide cricket at home with a 20-run victory over the World XI in a match before excited crowds amid tight security.The Twenty20 match, accorded global status by the worldwide Cricket Council, is the first game of only the second series Pakistan has hosted since militants attacked the bus of the visiting Sri Lankan team in March 2009, killing eight people and injuring seven players and staff.The Pakistan team will lock horns with the Faf du Plessis led ICC World XI in the second match of the series on Wednesday.

Pakistan had scored 174-6 in their 20 overs.

In a nail biting finish, World XI overhauled the target of 175 runs with just one ball to spare.

Amla and Perera played a crucial role for the visitors with an unbeaten partnership of 69 runs off just 29 balls.

Perera plundered 47 runs off a mere 19 balls with five huge sixes studding his power packed innings. "Thanks to Pakistan's fans for coming out in good numbers".

Left-hander Perera went on a rampage as the visitors needed 33 off the last two overs, smashing two sixes off the 19th over bowled by Sohail Khan before sealing the match in the last over. "Hash (Amla) told me to stay till the last moment because we can catch up".

Imran Tahir will play his first international game in the city of his birth. AFP  File
Imran Tahir will play his first international game in the city of his birth. AFP File

With the victory World XI leveled the three-match series at 1-1.

Babar Azam was once again sublime, hitting five sweetly timed boundaries in his 38-ball 45.

Earlier, after Pakistan opted to bat, Fakhar Zaman promised a big knock, hitting three fours in one Ben Cutting over and another in the next from Badree, but Badree trapped him lbw in the fifth over. This time they added 59 to steer Pakistan to 100 before Shehzad fell, followed 35 runs later by Azam.

In Pakistan, match can be seen live on PTV Sports, Ten Sports and Pakistan Television Broadcasters. He now has 1692 runs in 88 matches as compared to Umar Akmal, who has 1690 from 88.

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

But Du Plessis' exit heralded the arrival of Perera, who struck five sixes including the match-winning hit off Rumman Raees, clubbing a full toss straight over the seamer's head to ensure Friday's finale will not be a dead rubber.

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