HYDERABAD: World XI pulled off a convincing, six-wicket win over Pakistan XI at the Lal Bahadur Stadium here on Monday evening to enter the final of the ICL 20s World Series.
Chasing a modest target of 114, World XI was off to a fine start with southpaw Mathew Elliott flicking and straight-driving Shabbir Ahmed straight away.
There was a scare from medium-pacer Riaz Afridi, who was on a hat-trick in the sixth over when he sent back Elliot (26), caught behind of a lifting delivery on off-stump, and then rearranged the stumps of Lou Vicent (0).
But, Ian Harvey (52 not out, 46 balls, 8x4) was just too good for the fielding side.
It was a pity that Afridi’s best figures (four for 16) in the tournament turned out to be for a lost cause. When Marvan Atapattu walked down the pitch to loft slow bowler Taufeeq Umar to long-on for the winning boundary, it was an emphatic finish.
Earlier, the tone for the first session was set by a wonderful spell from South African fast bowler Johan van der Wath. That he could push even the dangerous Abdul Razzaq on the defensive in his first spell was no mean achievement.
And, Pakistan XI never really recovered from the unusually slow and dismal start.
Razzaq (11) did not last long, slashing Darryl Tuffey straight to deep third-man Upul Chandana. And, captain Inzamam-ul-Haq’s soft dismissal for one — pushing van der Wath straight to mid-off — was perhaps indicative of the misfortune to follow.
The dangerous Hasan Raza (four) was trapped lbw by leg-spinner Upul Chandana and Pakistan XI was reduced to 62 for six in 10.1 overs.
Andrew Hall bowled a splendid spell of three for 22 in the middle overs to ensure there were no escape routes, and Elliot bowling left-hand spin finished with a three-wicket haul too, snapping up Imran Farhat (20), Humayun Farhat (10) and Naved-ul-Hasan (18).
The scores: Pakistan XI 113 in 19.4overs (Andrew Hall three for 22, Upul Chandana two for 26, Mathew Elliott three for 17) lost to World XI 117 for four in 17.2overs (Ian Harvey 52 not out, Riaz Afridi four for 16).