LAHORE: Home-team Pakistan will face Zimbabwe in the second Twenty20 international at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Sunday.
A heavy contingent of police personnel has reached the Gaddafi Stadium and taken up their positions for security duties at the venue.
Despite scorching temperatures of 42 degrees Celsius, fans started arriving early for the match, which was scheduled to begin at 7:00PM.
“We are very excited. I am here to support Pakistan as well as the Zimbabwe team,” said one Pakistani fan who was waiting in line to enter the stadium.
Pakistan celebrated international cricket’s return after six years with a five-wicket win against the visiting team at the same venue on Friday.
Pakistan had not hosted any international cricket since terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.
The government has made extraordinary security arrangements for the series with 4,000 policemen on duty for Friday’s match. But that did not stop cricket-deprived fans from packing the 27,000 capacity stadium for Friday’s victory, which came as “icing on the cake” according to Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis.
“It’s always good to play in front of the home crowd and winning the game is like icing on the cake,” said Waqar, who coached for the first time in a match in Pakistan. “Playing on home soil in front of our own people gives you different feelings.”
Pakistan achieved their best Twenty20 chase by overhauling a target of 173. Opener Mukhtar Ahmed hit a rapid 83 to steer the home team to a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
After today’s Twenty20 both teams will play three, one-day internationals on May 26, 29 and 31.