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The buzzing and pulsating crowd at the Qaddafi Stadium Lahore witnessed a thrilling encounter as the World XI edged out Pakistan by 7 wickets to keep the series alive. Thisara Perera and Hashim Amla prevailed over Rumman Raees in the final over with the former hammering a full toss for a six to clinch a cliff hanger on the second-last ball.

With the series well poised for a showdown on Friday, there is little to choose between the two teams. The atmosphere was more gripping yesterday and fans got their money’s worth

Chasing a stiff target of 175, the visitors got off to a decent start, reaching 47 in 5 overs. It was Shoaib Malik’s athleticism which sent Tamim Iqbal back to the pavilion for 23. Thereafter, it was a grind for the batsmen. Amla kept chipping away with delightful strokes but Tim Paine found it difficult before eventually getting out for 10.

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When Faf du Plessis was dismissed, the target was a daunting one: 69 required off 36 balls. In walked Perera and the game changed. Taking the attack to the cleaners, the Srilankan all-rounder scored 47 off 19 with the help of 5 sixes. The complexion of the match changed in the 19th over when Sohail Khan was pummelled. Defending 13 in the final over, Rumman Raees was thumped for a huge six, ending what was a riveting encounter fitting the occasion.

Pakistan has to fine tune its batting firepower, which lacks the sting as of now. All eyes will be on the GSL on Friday

The last-gasp win has made Friday’s encounter a must-watch. Earlier, Pakistan elected to bat first after winning the toss. Fakhar Zaman got off to a brisk start, scoring 21 off 13 balls. Shehzad and Babar once again produced a very good partnership of 59 runs before Shehzad was dismissed for a well-made 43 off 33 balls.

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However, once again the surge and impetus came from Shoaib Malik. He bludgeoned his way to 39 off 23 balls with the help of 3 towering sixes, in the process he became Pakistan’s highest run scorer in T20s.

Defending 13 in the final over, Rumman Raees was thumped for a huge six, ending what was a riveting encounter fitting the occasion

With the series well poised for a showdown on Friday, there is little to choose between the two teams. The atmosphere was more gripping yesterday and fans got their money’s worth. Pakistan has to fine tune its batting firepower, which lacks the sting as of now. All eyes will be on the GSL on Friday.

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