LAHORE – The third and final match of Independence Cup 2017 between Pakistan and International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World XI will take place today (Friday) at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore to seize the historic Twenty20 International series.
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Both teams are equal with 1-1 points in the three-match series of the international cricket that returned to Pakistan’s grounds around after 8 years.
The final match will start at 7:30pm and PTV Sports channel will broadcast it. However, Lahore looks highly festive ahead of the match as the administration is decorating the routes with lights and posters carrying pictures of international players.
The international level cricket remained suspended in Pakistan following an attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in 2009. Only Zimbabwe visited the country in 2015 for a short series, an effort to revive the cricket in Pakistan to amuse local cricket lovers.
In the first match of the Independence Cup series on September 12, Pakistan maintained its momentum as it showed in Champions Trophy 2017 by winning the match with a 20-run lead.
But the World XI, comprising players from seven different countries including South Africa, Australia, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England and New Zealand, taking on Pakistan in second match on September 13 roared back and secured victory by seven wickets.
Both the rival skippers vowed to win the series. Talking to state-owned news agency, APP, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmad said: “It is a very important match for us and we will be going all out to win as the series is levelled at 1-1 and the match has become equally important for the both sides to claim the series title”. He said that all players need to show best game to bag the victory.
World XI captain Faf du Plessis said expressed resolve to seize the cup, adding that the team will play the final match with same mind set as it maintained in the second match.
“It is not going to be easy at all for us as Pakistan team has the added advantage of home ground and crowd and it has also the ability to fight back due to some good players in the side and we have to overcome all these challenges,” he added.
Stringent security measures have been planned for the final match at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore as over 5000 troops would be deployed for security.
David Miller, Morne Morkel, Tim Paine, Thisara Perera, Imran Tahir, Darren Sammy, Hashim Amla, Grant Elliott, Samuel Badree, George Bailey, Tamim Iqbal, Paul Collingwood, Ben Cutting, Faf du Plessis (C).
Sarfraz Ahmed (C), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf , Hasan Ali, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Usman Khan, Sohail Khan.