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Hashim Amla shows his class as World XI draw level

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Policeman stands guard at the main entrance of the Gaddafi Cricket stadium in Lahore

He also said, "Once this (World XI tour) is done, the Sri Lankans have committed to play one or two matches in Lahore next month and then the West Indies have committed to me that they will come for three matches in November".

It will perhaps be of some consolation to the neutral supporter that a decider has been set up for Friday.

Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera hit a towering six off the penultimate ball to steer the World XI to a thrilling seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the second Twenty20 Wednesday.

But Amla was more than content to feed the strike to Perera, who duly obliged.

To a query regarding no India player in the World XI, he said: "The fact is that you can't ignore political situation between the two countries while another reason is that India has very busy FTP".

Perera's good night had actually started earlier with the ball.

In a devastating spell, which saw him smash five maximums, he hit a match-winning six off Rumman Raees. But in Perera and Hashim Amla (72 not out off 55 balls with two sixes and five boundaries) the team had the men to cross the line as the duo added 69 off just 35 balls.

Army soldiers patrol at the main entrance of the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore
Army soldiers patrol at the main entrance of the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore

How Pakistan would be made to rue the missed opportunity later on, with Perera and Amla taking 13 runs off the final Raees over to keep the series alive.

"World XI deserves the credit", said Ahmed. "The excitement among the crowd was seen after many years".

Pakistan thrashed a star-studded World XI team by 20 runs in the premier match of the Independence Cup series at Lahore's Gaddafi stadium on Tuesday.

It was left to Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam to fix the innings, like they did with their 122-run stand on Tuesday.

"I am hopeful that today marks the start of the safe and steady return of global cricket to Pakistan".

However, unlike the first game, he could not capitalise on his promising start as he was dismissed for 45.

Opener Fakhar Zaman fell for 21 in the fifth over before Shehzad and Azam steadied the innings with a 59-run stand for the second wicket.

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