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Babar Azam helps Pakistan quell World XI in first of three T20

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By our sports reporter

LAHORE: A shattering innings by Babar Azam helped Pakistan win the first match of the Independence Cup by defeating World XI by 20 runs. The home side is now 1-0 in the series of three T20 matches.

Chasing 198 runs, World XI scored 177 for the loss of seven wickets. Sohail Khan, Raees and Shadab Khan took two wickets each. Middle order batsman Babar Azam was Man of the Match for his spell-binding 86 off 52 balls.

At the ceremony after the match Captain Sarfraz Ahmed called it a very important match after the Champions Trophy. He commended all the players, especially Babar Azam, Shehzad played, Shoaib Malik and Imad Wasim. After the match Babar said he felt no pressure because it was a slow wicket, so “I thought I’d take my time and play like I always do. Once I partnered up with Ahmed Shehzad, I took it as far as I could.”

Captain of the visiting side, Faf du Plessis said it was a good game and he thought Pakistan played exceptionally well. “They had a lot of variety, spinners, left-arm, right-arm. It was a great occasion to play here, and as soon as we walked onto the field, it was just a normal game”.

World XI openers Hashim Amla and Tamim Iqbal began the innings against Pakistan and stood up to the home side’s bowling attack before Raees came on. Pakistan got their first breakthrough as fast bowler Raees dismissed Iqbal in his first over. World XI lost its first wicket at 43 runs.

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