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Cricket is back in Pakistan with a bang

Pakistan register 20-run win over World XI in first T20 as terror-torn nation celebrates the return of international cricket under tight security in Lahore

Pakistani bowler Rumman Raees (extreme right) celebrates with teammates after dismissing World XI batsman Tamim Iqbal during the first T20 International at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore yesterday. Bangladeshi Tamim scored a run-a-ball 18. Pic/AFP
Pakistani bowler Rumman Raees (extreme right) celebrates with teammates after dismissing World XI batsman Tamim Iqbal during the first T20 International at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore yesterday. Bangladeshi Tamim scored a run-a-ball 18. Pic/AFP

Pakistan beat the World XI by 20 runs in an exciting finish to win the first T20 match in Lahore, celebrating the return of international cricket to the country.

Pakistan's Babar Azam en route his 86 yesterday. Pic/AFP
Pakistan's Babar Azam en route his 86 yesterday. Pic/AFP

It is only the second time Pakistan has hosted an international match since a 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus, also in Lahore. Pakistan's total of 197-5 saw one-drop batsman Babar Azam top-scoring with a 52-ball 86 studded with 10 boundaries and two sixes, adding 122 for the second wicket with Ahmed Shehzad who made 39.

World XI players paraded in autorickshaws before the match at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Pic/AFP
World XI players paraded in autorickshaws before the match at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Pic/AFP

The World XI finished with 177 with West Indian Darren Sammy and skipper Faf du Plessis scoring 29 each. Sammy led West Indies to a World T20 title in India in 2016. For Pakistan Sohail Khan, Shadab Khan and Rumman Raees took two wickets apiece.

A spectator cheers the Pakistan team yesterday. Pic/AFP
A spectator cheers the Pakistan team yesterday. Pic/AFP

The second and third matches will also be held in Lahore today and tomorrow. World XI skipper Faf du Plessis said: "It's not about ourselves, great to see we can play a small part in bringing cricket back to Pakistan."

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