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Pakistan, World XI Lock Horns in 1st T20I Today

Pakistan will take on a World XI in the first T20 international of Independence Cup at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Tuesday.

The three-match series will mark the revival of high-profile international cricket to Pakistan, which came to a standstill after a terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team’s bus In Lahore in 2009.

Since then, they are forced to play their home series in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They hosted Zimbabwe for a short limited-overs series in May 2015. However, no other international team has visited the country during the last eight years.

PCB succeeded to convince ICC to send a World XI after successfully hosting the final of Pakistan Super League (PSL) that featured several foreign players.

Pakistan, who haven’t played any cricket since their Champions Trophy title triumph in June, boasts a strong lineup for this series.

Fakhar Zaman and Ahmed Shehzad are likely to open the innings while Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed will form the middle-order.

Their squad also includes all-rounders like Imad Wasim, Aamer Yamin and Muhammad Nawaz.

Hassan Ali will spearhead their pace attack in the absence of Mohammad Amir, who is in London due to the impending birth of his first child.

In his absence, Hassan Ali will spearhead the pace department, which also includes Rumman Raees, Sohail Khan and Usman Khan Shinwari.  Shadab Khan, Malik, Nawaz and Imad will be their spin options.

Faf du Plessis-led World side, on the other hand, is studded with world-class players from seven countries.

Hashim Amla and Tamim Iqbal will most probably open while the likes of Du Plessis, Grant Elliott, David Miller, and George Bailey would make up the middle-order.

Tim Paine, being the sole wicketkeeper in the squad, will be an automatic pick in the XI.

Morne Morkel will lead the pace attack and will be assisted by seam-bowling all-rounders like Darren Sammy and Thisara Perera. Samuel Badree and Imran Tahir are two full-time spinners in their line-up.

Squads (From):

Pakistan:

Sarfraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf , Umar Amin, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Aamer Yamin, Usman Khan, Sohail Khan Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees,.

World XI:

Faf du Plessis, Paul Collingwood, Darren Sammy, Samuel Badree, Ben Cutting, Hashim Amla, George Bailey, Tamim Iqbal, David Miller, Tim Paine, Thisara Perera, Grant Elliott, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.

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