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Perera helps World XI level series 1-1
December 16 2017, 10:39 | Irvin Gilbert
Pakistan vs World XI: Misbah Ul- Haq, Shahid Afridi take lap of honour in Lahore, watch video
Pakistan, who won the toss and elected to bat, made 174-6 in the second Twenty20 worldwide against the World XI at Gaddafi Stadium on September 13. An 86 run knock at the top of the order in front of a packed 25,000 Gadaffi Stadium laid the foundation for Pakistan to finish with 197 runs.
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.
Sarfraz Ahmed-led side's 20 runs victory in first T20 on September 12 opened the series 1-0 but in the second T20, the experience of Hashim Amla steered the World XI to a comfortable victory over Pakistan, leaving the series tied at 1-1. With the focus now firmly on the second T20 and the celebratory entrances done with, expect complete focus on the cricket.
Sammy, who smashed three sixes and a four, was the joint top scorer for the World XI side that was chasing a formidable 197 for 5 set by the hosts that were playing an global match at home for nearly a decade. But in the second match, he, to some extent, remained successful in amusing the spectators with his classic shots as he played 13 balls to score 23 runs with the help of four fours.
Their hearts would ultimately be broken when Perera hit Rumman Raees straight down the middle for a maximum to hand the World XI an unlikely victory.
World XI captain Faf du Plessis and Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
Babar Azam was once again sublime, hitting five sweetly timed boundaries in his 38-ball 45.
In the process Malik also became the highest run-scorer for Pakistan in T20I's. The partnership broke when Iqbal hit a Sohail Khan delivery towards Shoaib Malik and was caught out for 23.
Both the teams made two changing each in their teams as Pakistan has included M Nawaz and Usman Shinwari in place of Hassan Ali and Fahim Ashraf while the World XI as they brought in Samuel Badree and Paul Collingwood who replaced Darren Sammy and Grant Elliot.
But Perera took charge in the last five overs as he cut loose against Pakistan seamers Shoaib Malik and Rumman Raees.
Today's third and final T20I in the Independence Cup will be probably viewed with much more interest than the earlier two games contested between Pakistan and World XI.