Pakistan All Star XI beat International World XI by six wickets in the second and last match of the World XI AO Trophy, aiming to restore international cricket in Pakistan.
Batting first, World XI set 143-run target in full 20 overs for the loss of nine wickets in the match played here at National Stadium.
The visitors suffered an early blow in the form of Sanath Jayasuriya departing in the first over without getting off the mark.
World XI would have been restricted below 100 runs, thanks to last wicket’s partnership of 57 runs between Adam Sanford and Nantie Hayward, who was the top-scorer for his team making 42 runs off 14.
Pakistan XI’s openers Imran Nazir and Shahzaib Hasan put a riveting performance, making more runs together than the first nine players of the opponents could make. Pakistan lost three wickets within 16 runs after Shahzaib departed at 87, making 39 runs off 19. Imran Nazir strengthened the perception that he played brilliantly when the match was not the international one. He made 53 runs off 33, scoring five sixes and four fours. Though Pakistan XI achieved the target in the match, time will tell if the series would blaze a trail in restoring international cricket in the country.
“The biggest relief for us is that the crowd was so disciplined and the maximum security arrangements put in place for the match also worked well,” chief organiser, Dr Mohammad Ali Shah said.
“We still have another match to go and once that also passes off smoothly we can easily say that it is time the Test playing nations now think about playing in Pakistan,” he said. Interestingly, no official of the Pakistan Cricket Board flew down to Karachi for the match, the first international event of sorts in the country in more than three years time.
Pakistan has been a no-go area for international athletes since March 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. Former South African pacer Andre Nel said he was happy to be a part of the process which should eventually bring international cricket back to Pakistan.
“We were very relaxed out in the field and we had no fears of any sort. Seeing such a big and enthusiastic crowd only made the occasion more memorable for us. “I don’t see major security concerns here. The people have been warm and we are being looked after very well,” said Nel, who played 36 Tests and 79 ODIs.
courtesy: The Nation