News Analysis |
A last-gasp victory in Wednesday’s cliff hanger for the World XI leveled the series and ensured that today’s match was not a dead rubber. Both teams will lock horns today at the Qadaffi Stadium in the series-decider.
A successful and thrilling end to the contest and the series is essential as it will clear the way for the return of international cricket in the country
Pakistan won the first match comfortably. Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik flaunted their finesse and brute force, respectively, giving the team a daunting target to defend. The strong World XI batting lineup was restricted by some tight bowling by the spin duo of Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim, ably supported by fast bowlers in Sohail Khan and Rumman Raees. Pakistan won the match in a canter and perhaps it wasn’t thrilling from a cricketing viewpoint.
But Wednesday’s fixture was a fan’s delight and fitting to the occasion. The nail-biting encounter saw the visitors edging out the home team. With 69 required off the last 6 overs, it was the power-hitting of Thisara Perera coupled with the class of Hashim Amla which helped the World XI keep the series alive.
The response of the crowd was electrifying on Wednesday. It is hence expected that the final will be played in front of a full house
With all to play for on Friday, Pakistan is a bit concerned about the injury scare to the premier fast bowler, Hasan Ali, who missed out in the second T20. Though, coach, Micky Arthur is confident that he will take the field. Pakistan still has the problem of power hitters, especially in the middle order; it is heavily reliant upon Shoaib Malik. He has given a good account of himself, swashbuckling his way to 38 and 39 runs in the first and second T20, respectively.
The World XI has more firepower as was amply demonstrated by Thisara Perera on Wednesday. The bowling attack has got some bite with the induction of Badree. Darren Sammy, who was surprisingly omitted from the second match, might make the playing XI today. The visitors may drop the struggling Tim Paine in favor of George Bailey, hoping to utilize his six hitting ability to good effect.
Darren Sammy, who was surprisingly omitted from the second match, might make the playing XI today
The response of the crowd was electrifying on Wednesday. It is hence expected that the final will be played in front of a full house. A successful and thrilling end to the contest and the series is essential as it will clear the way for the return of international cricket in the country. As it stands, West Indies and Srilanka have confirmed their tours to the country in October and November, respectively. If everything goes well, it is expected that more international teams will tour Pakistan in the near future.