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157884_4037789_updates.jpgBabar Azam receives man of the match award from Director of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Giles Clarke/AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmad was all praise for Babar Azam following the batsman?s magnificent innings of 86, which led the hosts to a good total and to success in the first T20 international match of the Independence Cup at Gaddafi Stadium.

"He (Babar) batted too good and laid a strong foundation of team's big total which the World XI failed to chase," Sarfraz said in his post-match comments after Pakistan beat the World XI by 20 runs.

He said as Pakistan lost opener Fakhar Zaman at the start of the play, Babar's knock gave stability to Pakistan?s innings and together with opener Ahmed Shehzad, a good partnership came and the team was able to post a decent score.

"We played good cricket and we will try to maintain consistency in the coming games to get desired results," he said, adding, "Efforts will be made to overcome the flaws noticed in today?s match.?

Sarfraz said he was pleased to see that young players are rising up to the expectations and urged them to work harder to lift the level of their game in the making of quality cricketers.

"Another positive aspect is that the players are striving to improve physical fitness and improvement in players? physical fitness was seen in today's match," he said.

He expressed his gratitude to the crowd for encouraging both the teams.

World XI captain Faf du Plessis said Pakistan played good cricket and won the match by building up early in the partnership, whereas his side could not consolidate the partnerships.

"We will be looking into today?s game to come up with better planning and exhibition of cricket skills to produce good results," he said.

Pakistan team's hero, Babar Azam said he batted with a plan after getting the initial response of the wicket and played the innings without taking pressure.

"I am happy that I have played my part in my team's success and I am very delighted that Pakistan has beaten World XI which comprises experienced players from around the world," he said.

Babar said his plan was to build the innings with a solid partnership and this objective was achieved along with Ahmed Shehzad.

He expressed his gratitude to the ICC for sending the World XI to Pakistan for the resumption of international cricket in the country.

"We as a team always try to give one hundred percent in every match," adding, "All the players were very excited to play in front of a full house.?

Babar said playing at home ground and in front of the home crowd are very special feelings compared to playing abroad or at neutral venues.

He said Pakistan team management is laying special emphasis on improvement in fielding and physical fitness and all the players are working on it.

"Our mindset is make a clean sweep in the series against World XI and all the players are committed to it by giving their best in different departments of the game.?


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