Thisara Perera produced an outstanding display of all-round performance to guide World XI to a thrilling seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the second T20I of the Independence Cup at Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday.
Earlier, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bat first. His decision proved a right one as the Green Caps managed to post competitive 174 for the loss of six wickets in their allotted 20 overs.
Babar Azam once again finished with the top score of 45 off 38 balls with the help of five boundaries, but the real star of the show was veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik, who scored quick-fire 39 off 23 with the help of one for and three maximums in the later stages of the innings to bring some respectability in the total.
For World XI, Perera and leg-spinner Samuel Badree claimed two wickets each.Chasing 175 to level the series, World XI had a brilliant start courtesy aggressive Tamim Iqbal, who scored 23 off 19 with the help of two fours and one six.
However, once he got out, visitors’ progress became slower and at one stage they needed 51 off last four overs to seal an unlikely victory.But Perera, who had a horrid outing in the first match, scored unbeaten 47 off just 19 balls with the help of five sixes to keep his team alive in the series.
Opener Hashim Amla finished the innings with the top score of unbeaten 72 off 55 with the help of five fours and two sixes.For Pakistan, left-arm spinners Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz and pacer Sohail Khan claimed one wicket each.
For his outstanding performance, Perera was awarded man of the match. The final match of the series will be played on Friday at the same venue.