Shehzad hands Pakistan series win over World XI
Ahmed Shehzad was in prolific form as Pakistan secured a historic 2-1 series triumph over the World XI with a 33-run victory in the final T20 in Lahore.
After falling short of fifties in the opening two T20s, Shehzad recorded a 55-ball 89 as Pakistan set an imposing target of 184 in the deciding match of their first series on home soil since 2009.
The right-hander was run out before he could get to triple figures, with Sri Lankan Thisara Perera once again impressing by returning figures of 2-37 and scoring 32 runs off just 13 balls in a brilliant cameo.
However, his efforts were insufficient as the tourists came up short, Rumman Raees (1-20) and Hasan Ali (2-28), who replaced Sohail Khan in the line-up, restricting them to 150-8.
Pakistan made an electric start as Shehzad and Fakhar Zaman (27) piled on 51 runs during the Powerplay, the latter crunching the game’s first six off Thisara.
However, their partnership was broken for 61 when Darren Sammy deflected a shot from Shehzad onto the stumps to run out Fakhar at the non-striker’s end.
Shehzad stepped the attack up another notch as he made a mockery of Ben Cutting’s bowling at the death – the Australian’s over going for 26 runs – with three successive sixes before being run out.
Thisara removed Babar Azam (48) and Imad Wasim (0) in the final over, but Shoaib Malik launched two sixes for an unbeaten 17 off seven balls. Tamim Iqbal (14) sent Wasim for 13 runs in the opening over but was beaten by a low delivery from Usman Khan in the next set of six.
Things got worse for the tourists when Hasan tempted an inside edge from Cutting (five) and the indecision of captain Faf du Plessis (13) resulted in Hashim Amla’s promising start of 21 being cut short.
The World XI looked off the pace until Thisara matched Shehzad with three straight sixes off Shadab Khan (0-34), but the run rate dropped far below what was needed to upset the fervent home crowd.