LAHORE September 14: Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera produced a sensational 19 ball 47 run innings to seal an improbable win for the World XI in the second match of the Independence Cup T20I series against Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium.
A heaving stadium witnessed a nail-biting finish as Perera brought the World XI 175 run chase to life with his stunning assault, six runs were needed off the last two balls at this stage a full-toss by Rumman Raees was sent soaring past the boundary rope by Perera to ensure a victory which kept the Independence Cup alive.
Pakistan won the opener on Tuesday by 20 runs while the World XI win has turned the third match on Friday a virtual final.
Earlier, Pakistan were once again served well by Babar Azam who followed his man-of-the-match winning 86 run effort in the first match by contributing 45 off 38 balls. Ahmed Shehzad scored 43 off 34 while Shoaib Malik followed his quickfire 38 in the first game with a 23 ball 39 run effort.
Opener Fakhar Zaman scored 21 off 13 balls with the help of four boundaries while Imad Wasim remained unbeaten with 15 off 11 balls.
Pakistan finished their allotted 20 overs at 174 for six; Perera and Samuel Badree took two wickets each.
The foundations of the World XI win and the Perera heist were set by Hashim Amla’s unbeaten 72, who anchored the other end. The South African right-hander was well supported by Tamim Iqbal; the duo added 47 runs for the first wicket partnership.
Skipper Faf du Plessis contributed 20 off 14 balls to set the platform for the final act by Amla and Perera, the game was slipping away from the visiting team as they needed 63 off the last five overs before some stunning strikes by Perera took the World XI past the target.