Babar Azam, Collingwood Give Thumbs Up to Cricket’s Return in Pak

Babar Azam, Collingwood Give Thumbs Up to Cricket’s Return in Pak

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Pakistan, on Tuesday, took a giant step towards reviving international cricket at home with a 20-run victory over the World XI in a T20 match at the Gaddafi Stadium.

The Twenty20 match, accorded international status by the International Cricket Council, is only the second time Pakistan has hosted an international match since militants attacked the bus of the visiting Sri Lankan team in March 2009, killing eight people and injuring seven players and staff.

Pakistan, sent into bat by World XI skipper Faf du Plessis, notched 197-5 with Babar Azam hitting a rapid 52-ball 86. His career best Twenty20 score had ten boundaries and two sixes. Azam added 122 for the second wicket with Ahmed Shehzad (39) as Pakistan built on the loss of opener Fakhar Zaman for eight.

The World XI started off well with Tamim Iqbal hitting 18 with three boundaries and Hashim Amla smashing three boundaries and a six in his 17-ball 26 but left-arm pacer Rumman Raees dismissed both in the same over to put the brakes on their innings. Skipper Faf du Plessis hit four boundaries and a six while Darren Sammy smashed three sixes -- both scoring 29 -- but were unable to see their team through.

Pakistan won the match by 20 runs.

Six Pakistani players -- Azam, Ashraf, Zaman, Shadab, Raees and Hasan Ali -- played their first international match on the home soil.

Watch video to see what Paul Collingwood (World XI) and Babar Azam said after the match.

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