A fiery fourth-wicket partnership of 83 runs between Abdul Razzaq and Rana Naved-ul Hassan, helped by butter-fingered World XI fielders, powered ICL Pakistan to a convincing six-wicket win in their do-or-die league match of the 20s World series in Ahmedabad on Wednesday night.
Some lusty hittings by Razzaq (73 off 45) and Rana Naved (74 off 38) saw Pakistan through with 13 balls to spare after World XI had piled up a mammoth 188 for three in their alloted 20 overs.
Chasing the target, Imran Nazir (15 off 7) started all guns blazing for Pakistan, hitting Jason Gillespie for a six in the first ball of the innings over square leg.
In the very next ball, Nazir got a life when Damien Martyn dropped a skier at cover. Nazir got another life in the next over when Syed Mohammad dropped the Pakistani opener at mid-off boundary off Andre Adams to see the ball cross the ropes.
One ball later, Nazir's over-agression did him in as he missed a fuller Adams delivery to see his stumps flying.
Imran Farhat (12) was the next man to depart, neatly caught by Lance Klusener at mid-off off Gillespie.
However, the fall of wickets had no effect on Razzaq and Rana Naved as the duo murdered the World XI bowlers to bring up 50 in four overs and 100 in 7.2 overs.
Razzaq scored his fifty in 25 balls, while Rana Naved got it 23. The duo struck as many as 19 fours and four sixes between them.
Rana Naved's brave innings came to an end with a stunning catch from Murray Goodwin at the point off Nantie Hayward, followed by Shahid Yousuf's run out, but it was too late by then.
Earlier, openers Murray Goodwin and Damien Martyn gave World XI a rollicking start, racing to 40 in four overs.
The makeshift openers tormented the pace duo of Mohammad Sami and Abdur Razaq that forced Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul Haq to enforce double bowling change in the fifth over. But that did not yield any fruitful result as the duo contnued their onslaught, dealing in sixes and fours.
The Pakistanis tasted first success in the 10th over when Riaz Afridi castled Goodwin to end the 90-run opening stand.
Goodwin struck eight boundaries and a six in his 31-ball 52-run innings.
Next man in Andre Adams used his long handle to great effect and powered his way to 19 off 15 balls with some lusty slog hitting before Shahid Nazir wrecked his wickets.
If Goodwin and Martyn were not enough, in came Lance Klusener. He was particularly severe on off-spinner Arshad Khan and picked up 16 runs in the 15th over with two fours and a six.
Rana Naved ended Klusener's stay, cleaning him up for 24 which came off 12 balls with two fours and equal number of sixes.
Martyn, on the other hand, notched up his half century in 39 balls. The Australian, with the help of five fours and a six, remained unbeaten on 64 off 49 balls, while Paul Nixon played a cameo of 16 off 12 balls.
For Pakistan, Rana Naved, Nazir and Afridi picked up wicket apiece, giving away 31, 30 and 15 runs respectively.