The past week has been overwhelming for the folks of Pakistan as the World XI team which included some of the remarkable names of International cricket toured Pakistan and played three T20 matches in Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. The three T20 matches played in Pakistan home grounds sent out a loud and clear message of peace all around the globe. Let’s take a look at the summary of whole three matches.
Pakistan was asked to bat first in the first T20 match. Pakistan team scored a gigantic target of 197 runs with the loss of 5 wickets by the contributions of Babar Azam, Ahmed Shehzad and Shoaib Malik. The World XI team couldn’t reach up to the expectations as they could score only 177 runs with loss of 7 wickets in 20 overs. Rumman Raees, Sohail Khan and Imad Wasim helped the Pakistani team to overcome the World XI team by each taking 2 wickets. Pakistani team exhibited a complete performance in all three departments. Babar Azam was declared ‘player of the match’ award for his wonderful, stable innings of 86 runs on 52 balls.
Second T20i, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. Pakistan batsman couldn’t show the display of ideal batting that they did in the previous match as more runs were needed to defend against a dangerous side. 174 runs with the loss of 6 wickets were put on the board by the Pakistan team with the services of Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik. World XI team came stronger and chased the target in 20 overs with the loss of only 3 wickets while Imad Wasim, Sohail Khan and Muhammad Nawaz were effectual in taking 1 wicket each. World XI win in the second T20 match made the series interesting and attention grabbing. ‘Player of the match award’ was given to Sri Lankan player Thisara Perera for his quick 47 runs on 19 balls that made easier for World XI to have victory in the second T20 match.
The third T20 match was the decider of the series and Pakistan team played as cornered tigers. World XI won the toss and elected to field first. Pakistan team once again came to bat first. They successfully scored a decent total of 183 runs with the loss of 4 wickets. World XI team could not reach up to the mark and scored only 150 runs with the loss of 8 wickets. Pakistan bowling and fielding displayed great show. Imad Wasim, Usman khan Shinwari, Rumman Raees effectively took 1 wicket each while Hasan Ali was efficacious in taking 2 wickets. Three of the batsmen of World XI were caught in the prey of Pakistan fielding as 3 batsmen were run out. Pakistan team made the cup their property by winning the third and the last T20 match. Ahmed Shehzad received the ‘player of the match’ for his innings of 89 runs on 55 balls that helped Pakistan team score a decent total for the bowlers to defend. Babar Azam was given ‘player of the series’ award for his consistent batting throughout the tournament.
Pakistani Team winning the series against World XI in their own homeland was a cherry on the cake. The players received immense love and respect from the fans. A huge number of devotees were there in the ground to support their team and cricket in their country which is a statement itself. Recently the cricket match played at Waziristan in ‘Younis Khan’ stadium between Pakistan XI and UK Media XI which gave many legends a platform to play once in front of their home ground was a dream comes true for the people of Pakistan. It was played in an area which was occupied by terrorists years ago but now time has changed and it is peaceful place to play cricket. It is hopeful that Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies will come to Pakistan to play matches in the upcoming time. World XI tour has not only opened doors for cricket but for other sports too. Public of Pakistan should be thankful to their armed forces for making this all happen. Cricket admirers all around the world hope that Pakistan keeps hosting cricket matches like this and their stadiums light up again.