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Cricket for peace: Afridi shines as Pakistan XI beat UK XI by 133 runs

MIRANSHAH: A stellar batting display by buoyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi led Pakistan XI to a 133-run victory over UK Media XI in Miranshah, North Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Pakistan XI posted a mammoth total of 253 off 20 overs against UK Media XI, propelled by a rapid 70 by Afridi. UK Media XI could only manage 120-7 in response.
UK Media XI earlier won the toss and opted to field at the picturesque Younis Khan Stadium in Miranshah, in a match which is part of a series titled Peace Cup, organised by the Pakistan Army, Pakistan Cricket Board and PSL franchise Peshawar Zalmi.
Afridi’s batting met with a roar of applause from the local crowd, who gathered in thousands to watch their favourite stars in action, including Inzamam ul Haq, Younis Khan, Kamran Akmal, Junaid Khan, Umer Gul and Mushtaq Ahmed.
The batting heroics of ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi earned him Man of the Match award, while Umar Amin was awarded Best Batsman of the Match for his superb inning.
The UK team is part of an 18-member group of journalists, lawyers, businessmen and academics aged between 21-62, which is touring Pakistan with the aim to improve the country’s image as a sporting nation.
British journalist Peter Oborne, UK Media XI skipper renowned for authoring ‘Wounded Tiger: A History of Cricket in Pakistan’, paid tribute to the ‘peace-loving’ people of Pakistan and hailed the country for welcoming him and his team.
“The message [of this match] is clear: Pakistan is a friendly, welcoming country. More cricket teams should come here. All teams, even university teams, teams like ours, they should come here to play cricket,” Oborne said during the post-match ceremony.
“It’s not just the cricket here.. it’s the people. It’s been an honour to play here in front of the local crowd,” he said, as he praised the security situation and noted that there has been “real progress” across the entire country in this regard.
“Pakistan team is the most exciting cricket team in the world!” he laughed, adding that he felt honoured to have played alongside cricket greats like Inzamam and Mushtaq. Agencies

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