The action moved to the series decider between Pakistan and the World XI side at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. It was a perfect setup for the iconic tour with both teams going into the decider having won a game each. As it turned out, the hosts proved to be too strong for the visitors and won the match quite comprehensively to seal the series 2-1.
A solid start
Put into bat after losing the toss, Pakistan’s opener Fakhar Zaman went on the offense from the outset and struck a couple of boundaries in the very first over. His partner Ahmed Shehzad too joined in the act and smashed the same number of boundaries in the next over. The assault from the duo continued as they took the score to 51/0 at the end of the powerplay.
Zaman got run out in an unfortunate manner in the 9th over as a straight hit from Shehzad deflected off Darren Sammy’s hand and took the bails off the non-striker’s end as the batsman was found short and had to walk back for 27. Babar Azam joined Shehzad in the middle and they kept the side in the driver’s seat.
Shehzad’s steady knock
Shehzad reached his fifty in the 13th over off 37 balls and looked set to pile on many more. The score reached 127/1 after 16 overs and that’s when the batting team decided to up the ante. 15 runs were collected off the Morne Morkel’s 17th over followed by 2 sixes in a row in the next over by Shehzad off Ben Cutting.
As Shehzad approached a century, he had to walk back due to an unfortunate run out for 89 off 55 balls that included 8 fours and 3 sixes. Azam too fell short of his fifty and departed for 48 off 31 balls. Imad Wasim fell for a duck but Shoaib Malik’s 2 sixes late in the innings took the score to 183/4 after 20 overs.
A poor start for World XI
In reply, Tamim Iqbal got the World XI chase going with 3 fours in the first over but got his stumps dismantled in the next over of Usman Khan. Hashim Amla then went on the charge and smashed 4 boundaries within a space of 8 deliveries. Hasan Ali then accounted for the wicket of Ben Cutting for 5 in the 5th over.
Amla too had to walk back courtesy a run out in the 5th over for 21 off 12 balls. Rumman Raees then bowled a brilliant 6th over that turned out to be the first maiden of the series. The eventful powerplay ended with 43 runs on the board with 3 World XI batsmen back in the hut.
George Bailey’s miserable stay at the crease was ended by Imad Wasim as the Australian departed for just 3 off 12 balls. The skipper Faf du Plessis became another victim of a run out as he had to walk back for 13 in the 10th over. The visitors were left reeling at 68/5 after 10 overs.
David Miller then had the hero of the previous match Thisara Perera for a company. Perera didn’t waste much time to get going and hammered Shadab Khan for 3 sixes in a row followed by a boundary in the 13th over. Just when he threatened to run away with the game again, he was removed by Raees for 32 off 13 balls as the score read 112/6 after 14 overs.
The hopes were alive until David Miller was at the crease but he was sent back by Hasan Ali in the 17th over for 32. Morne Morkel got run out in the following over to put the side deeper in trouble. Darren Sammy was still at the crease but he was left to with too many to get. At the end, Pakistan won the match by 33 runs and also the series by 2-1.
World XI won the toss and opted to bowl first
Pakistan: 183/4 in 20 overs
Ahmed Shehzad 89, Babar Azam 48
Thisara Perera 37/2
World XI: 150/8 in 20 overs
Thisara Perera 32, David Miller 32
Hasan Ali 27/2, Rumman Raees 20/1
Pakistan won by 33 runs
Player of the Match: Ahmed Shehzad
Player of the Series: Babar Azam