Pakistan vs ICC World XI 2017, 3rd T20I at Lahore: Ahmed Shehzad’s 89, PAK’s historic win and other talking points

After the defeat in second T20I against World XI, Pakistan came back strongly to win the final game against the unfamiliar visitors.

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The 33-run victory is Pakistan’s second trophy win in a row after they beat India in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final © AFP

Pakistan know a thing or two about scaling their performances on a Friday. After the defeat in the second T20I against World XI, the home side came back strongly to win the final game convincingly against the unfamiliar visitors to lift the Independence Cup. The 33-run victory is Pakistan’s second trophy win in a row after they beat India in the Champions Trophy final, earlier this year. Let us glance through the talking pointsfrom this game. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs ICC World XI 2017, 3rd T20I at Lahore

Ahmed Shehzad’s splendid innings of 89: The star of Pakistan’s innings in the previous two matches was undoubtedly Babar Azam. However, in this tie, it was Ahmed Shehzad, who certainly stole the show with his splendid innings of 89. His innings came off just 55 deliveries, including eight fours and three sixes. His strike that read 162 made the difference in the end. He was also involved in twin fine partnerships of 61 and 102 with FakharZaman and Azam, before he was run out, missing out on his possible century.The opener has contributed in every match of the series so far.

Babar Azam’srun spree continues: The series has always involved the name of Azam, who has been one of the talking points, as this tie too was no different. Azam made his presence felt once again as he played a fine knock of 48. His innings came off 31 deliveries, including five fours.Azam went on to win the Man of the Series. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: Pakistan vs ICC World XI 2017, 3rd T20I at Lahore

Pakistan fans of MS Dhoni and ViratKohli: It is already after a long time the Pakistan fans are witnessing quality international cricket at home. With this opening prospects of further quality international cricket for top sides, Pakistan fans have already expressed their desire to watch MS Dhoni and ViratKohli from India to play in Pakistan. People set up banners and posters, displaying on how they miss the Indian stars playing at their backyard. Hopefully, this opens future prospects for Team India touring Pakistan soon. However, as things stand for now, it is a subject to government clearance from India.

No proper planning for ICC World XI: The World XI batsmen were off to a shaky start as they kept losing wicket at regular intervals. Although the openers TamimIqbal and HashimAmlahad an aggressive approach, they failed to maintain it as they fell prey to Pakistan’s strongbowling. Following the top three batsmen, who were bowled up by the Pakistan bowlers, the incoming batsmen lacked proper planning and just tend to adjust to the situation, before a fight back stand form David Miller and ThisaraPerera. Also, in a horrendous mix-up, skipper Faf du Plessis was responsible in gettingAmla run out. However, he too got run out later proving that he was wrong in taking call for the run, twice.

David Miller-ThisaraPerera’s fighting stand of 45: In what was otherwise a dull innings from the World XI, it was the pair of South Africa’s Miller and Sri Lankan all-rounder Perera, who showed some resilience. They put up a fighting stand of 45 for the sixth wicket, with Miller contributing 13 and Perera contributing 32. Apart from this stand, it was their respective innings of 32 each, which did allow World XI to put some pressure on the Pakistan bowlers.

However, they were smart enough to get wickets at regular intervals and put pressure back on the World XI. Had this pair got going with their lethal hard-hitting, the result could have been well different.

Pakistan’s historic series win at home: The major talking point of the match and the entire series has to be Pakistan’s historic win at home. Although this was Pakistan’s second international series win at home since 2009, with the first coming in 2015, following an ODI series win against Zimbabwe; this was Pakistan’s first major international series win against a strong side. The win did bring the long lost joy to the fans of Pakistan, who were starving for international cricket at home. With the series being now successfully done and dusted, along with Pakistan’s win, this surely opens up prospects of other big teams to arrive in the nation and resume international cricket in a full-fledged manner. Hopefully, this is a new beginning of cricket in Pakistan.

Grand farewell to Misbah-ul-Haq and ShahidAfridi: In case what is Pakistan cricket today, it is all due to its immense and faithful contributions from former skipper and legends Misbah-ul-Haq and ShahidAfridi. Both the players, who have given it all for Pakistan cricket, did deserve some classic reward from the Pakistan cricket Board (PCB), as they were given a grand farewell in the form of a lap of honour.

The Pakistan fans too got a chance to give these legends a grand farewell, and these gentlemen truly deserved it.

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