Independence Cup 2017
Pakistan v/s World XI, 2nd T20
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
Time: 7.30 pm (IST - Wednesday, September 13)
On TV: DSport
Live streaming: cricketgateway.com
Pakistan hosted the first of three T20 games on Tuesday against a touring World XI, winning by 20 runs in a packed stadium in the eastern city of Lahore. The home side rode on the back of a rapid-fire 86 by opener Babar Azam, raking up a formidable 197 before their bowlers held off a star-studded World XI batting line-up led by South African captain Faf du Plessis.
The series has been billed as a precursor to international cricket's return to Pakistan. The country has hosted only one foreign team since militants attacked a bus transporting the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009, wounding six players and killing two civilians and six security officials.
"I saw international players for the first time in my life... It was fascinating watching quality cricket," student Omar Khan said.
Umpire Ahsan Raza, who received two gunshot wounds in the 2009 attack, was one of the two on-field officials for Tuesday's match. More than 6,000 police officials and paramilitary officers were deployed around Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium, according to provincial government spokesman Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan.
"It was fun seeing national and international cricketers playing in Lahore. Pakistan's victory is a bonus to me," said Malika Ali, who came to the ground with her family.
Lahore streets were gridlocked from two p.m. onwards as cheering fans arrived at the six designated car parks from where they were transported to the stadium by a shuttle service.
Attacks in Lahore have become less frequent in recent years but security remains high as Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups remain active. A Taliban suicide bomber killed 25 people in July in an attack that appeared to target Lahore’s police force.
"It's great to play in front of the Pakistan crowd," World XI captain du Plessis said after the match, showering praise on Pakistan's young players, many of whom were playing their first match at home in national colours.
In March, calls for the return of international cricket picked up steam after the final of the domestic T20 Pakistan Super League, featuring high-profile foreign players such as West Indies World Cup winner Darren Sammy, was held in Lahore.
Squads for Independence Cup 2017
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf , Hasan Ali, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Usman Khan, Sohail Khan.
World XI: Faf du Plessis (C), Hashim Amla, George Bailey, Paul Collingwood, Ben Cutting, George Elliott, Tamim Iqbal, David Miller, Tim Paine, Thisara Perera, Darren Sammy, Samuel Badree, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.
(Inputs from Reuters)
Report Cricket Sports DNA Web Team DNA webdesk Lahore Cricket Web Exclusive live streaming Pakistan v/s World XI T20 Independence Cup 2017 Pakistan World XI Faf du Plessis Sarfraz Ahmed Wed, 13 Sep 2017-07:13pm Date updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2017 - 6:56pm Article Images:
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed (L) and his World XI counterpart Faf du Plessis
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