Karachi: The second exhibition Twenty20 match between the International World XI and Pakistan Stars XI ended peacefully and amidst fanfare and fireworks allowing Pakistanis to celebrate the return of of international cricket to the country after nearly three-and-a-half years.
A crowd of around 25,000 again turned up to see the Pakistan Stars XI beat the visitors by six wickets with nearly four overs to spare last night. But the big surprise was the appearance of disgraced wicketkeeper, Zulqarnain Haider for the local side. Sources said he was specially included in the team on the instructions of a senior PCB official, Intikhab Alam who is keen to see if Haider has any cricket left in him after being involved in numerous controversies since his Test debut in 2010.
Had it not been for a blistering 42 from 16 balls from last man, Nantie Hayward the International World XI would not have been able to make a respectable 142 in 20 overs after being put into bat by Shoaib Malik who captained the local side in place of Shahid Afridi, who had left to perform Haj. Hayward hit four sixes and three fours in an entertaining knock. Apart from Hayward, only three other batsmen of the visiting side reached double figures, including 25-run knock by opener Andre Seymore and 14 by Adam Sanford.
For the hosts left arm-spinner Faraz Ahmed took three wickets for 20 runs while pacer Tabish Khan grabbed two wickets to follow up on his hat trick in the first match. Imran Nazir and Shahzaib Hasan once again entertained the crowd with a opening stand of 87 in under eight overs as they hit sixes and fours at will against the depleted World XI bowling.
Nazir, who scored 53 from 33 balls, hit two sixes in the first over by Andre Nel while Hasan contributed 39. Understandably the organisers of the two matches were over the moon after the game as the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Zaka Ashraf also showed up for the match.
For the first match on Saturday a fullhouse of around 32 to 34,000 were in attendance.