Reputation at stake as Pakistan, World XI meet in series decider

Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistan will face Faf du Plessis-led World XI in the final match of the Independence Cup on Friday at Gaddafi Stadium.

The series is levelled at 1-1 after Pakistan emerged as victorious in the opening match by 20 runs, whereas World XI came back in a do-or-die encounter, thanks to Thisara Perera’s sublime hitting.

The hosts will be looking to seal another series win on their home soil, which will be their first in the last 2 years after they defeated Zimbabwe in 2015 at the same venue.

The Green Caps will be depending once again on young Babar Azam to provide stability from the top and veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik to deliver in the later stages of the innings.

In the bowling department, the focus will be once again spin-duo of Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim, who proved hard to get away, whereas the potential comeback of young pacer Hasan Ali should bolstered the fast-bowling department.

Since Hasan is pretty much certain to make a comeback, other pacer – Usman Khan Shinwari is due to miss out, whereas all-rounder Faheem Ashraf can also make a comeback in place of Mohammad Nawaz.

For World XI, last match was an immense improvement from the first game, where the bowling looked on song and the batting did their bit as well.

In the batting department, the team will be depending of opener Hashim Amla and captain Du Plessis to lead from the front and provide platform for the likes of David Miller and Thisara Perera to capitalize in the later stages of the innings.

In the bowling department, the team will be depending on pacer Morne Morkel to provide breakthrough upfront, whereas in the middle overs, experienced spin duo of Imran Tahir and Samuel Badree should be enough to trouble hosts batsman.

West Indian Darren Sammy is expected to return in place of Paul Collingwood. The weather is expected to stay fine and the pitch is once again full of runs.

Leave a Reply