The nation marked the return of worldwide cricket back to home with Pakistan comfortably defeating the all stars team in the first T20.
Pakistan openers Fakhar Zaman and Ahmed Shehzad provided good start to the team as gathered 41 runs for the first-wicket partnership in 4.4 overs in the very next delivery, Samuel Badree took the wicket of Fakhar Zaman, who couldn't impress the spectators with his bat in the first T20 worldwide against the World XI. An 86 run knock at the top of the order in front of a packed 25,000 Gadaffi Stadium laid the foundation for Pakistan to finish with 197 runs.
"Hash (Amla) told me to stay till the last moment because we can catch up", man-of-the-match Perera said. Opener Hashim Amla remained cool-minded throughout the innings and scored 72 runs after playing 55 balls and hitting 5 fours and 2 sixes. With the focus now firmly on the second T20 and the celebratory entrances done with, expect complete focus on the cricket.
The decision did not go in their favour as World XI bowlers were thrashed in the powerplay overs despite getting the wicket of opener Fakhar Zaman.
Imran Tahir on the other hand is arguably the most lethal bowler in World XI's arsenal. England's 2010 WT20-winning captain Paul Collingwood also took the place of Grant Elliott, adding valuable experience to the team, having already toured Pakistan back in 2006. Tim Paine and Faf du Plessis offered brief support but with 69 needed off the last 6 overs, it would need something special for the World XI to triumph.
Babar Azam was once again sublime, hitting five sweetly timed boundaries in his 38-ball 45.
Shoaib Malik became the all-time highest run scorer for Pakistan in T20Is through the course of his innings. The partnership broke when Iqbal hit a Sohail Khan delivery towards Shoaib Malik and was caught out for 23.
Pakistan, however, won the match 33 runs.
Badree took 2 for 31, while Perera had 2 for 23 to restrict Pakistan to 174 in 20 overs.
Pakistan will be looking for a disciplined performance in the final match of the three-match T20 Independence Cup to be played here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.