India beat Pakistan by nine-wickets to win T20 Blind World Cup

India blind cricket team had only been beaten once over the course of the tournament.

India beat Pakistan by nine wickets to win the 2017 edition of the T20 Blind World Cup with the final played in Bangalore

India successfully defended their title in the T20 Blind World Cup on Sunday at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore by beating arch-rivals Pakistan in the final by nine wickets. Incidentally, in the previous and only edition of the T20 World Cup for the visually impaired, Pakistan had been on the losing end then too.

India blind cricket team had only been beaten once over the course of the tournament.

Both teams came into the contest with a superb record during the tournament. Where India had won eight out of nine games, losing only to Pakistan, beat Sri Lanka in the semi-final by a convincing ten wicket margin to seal their place in the summit clash. Neighbours Pakistan had been going one better by winning all nine matches and they had edged England in Karnataka by massive 147 runs.

Pakistan started their innings on a strong note, but soon after the drinks break India struck with the crucial wicket of Munnir. That gave India the opening, and they never let go of the chance. They went on the offensive to take wickets at regular intervals as Pakistan lost momentum. Ketan Patel and Md. Jaffar Iqbal were India’s most successful bowlers with two wickets each.

Prakash, the vice-captain, was superb behind the wickets, creating pressure on the Pakistan batsmen.

Pakistan put up a respectable total, but India had a definite strategy in place. Ajay and Prakash, India’s two best batsmen, started in a blistering fashion, putting on an opening stand of 110 runs in just 61 balls.

Ajay was run out, but Ketan showed good form to race to 26 before retiring hurt when an incoming ball ripped through his jaw line. That did not deter Prakash, who went hammer and tongs. Fittingly, he hit the winning boundary to start the celebrations at the ground amidst loud music.

Prakash was the man of the match and the tournament’s best wicketkeeper award, while Pakistan’s Riasat Khan was player of the series in B1 categoryfor his overall aggregate of 452 runs and 4 wickets. One more Pakistan Player Badar Munnir with 417 runs and 8 wickets was the Man of the series in B2 category, while Srilankan star player Suranga sampath with 733 and 4 wickets was the man of the series in B3 category.

“The coaching camps where the team worked on many things allowed everyone to gell well,” said Captain Ajay Reddyafter receiving the trophy. “Of course Prakash did it again and we are all proud of him. Brilliant bowling and fielding in the finals and a cameo by Ketan Patel made sure we became victorious.”

 

In India’s bowling department, Ketan Patel and Jaffar Iqbal took two wickets each, while conceding 29 and 33 runs respectively.

In reply, Ajay Kumar Reddy and Prakasha Jayaramaiah gave India a commanding start and never let go of the momentum that was created early on. The duo continued to score runs at a quick rate and maintained ten runs an over run rate after both the five and ten overs. After five overs, India were 54/0 and 109/0 after ten overs.

The hosts lost Reddy for 43 when he tried to go for a run but was caught short by Israr Hassan. Up next for India was Ketan Patel who, unfortunately, retired hurt at 26. Dunna Venkatesh walked into the middle and gave Jayaramaiah good company. India crossed the line win in the 18th over in spectacular fashion – with a boundary. Jayaramaiah missed out on the century by just one run as he remained unbeaten on 99 when the winning runs were hit.

The tournament kicked off on January 29 before travelling to various cities and culminating at M Chinnaswamy Stadium for a perfect final. More than 20,000 people cheered every ball in the final, the Indian Blind Cricket team famously called as “the other men in blue” avenged their defeat against Pakistan in the league stage.

Brief scores:

Pakistan: 197/8 in 20 overs (Muhammad Jamil 24(15), Badar Munir 57(37), Amir Ishfaq 20 (17), Nisar Ali 9 (7), Muhammad Akram 2 (3), Riasat Khan 16 (13), Muhammad Zafar 16 (8), Mati Ullah 15 n.o., Israr Hassan 5 (6), Muhammad Ijaz 5 n.o., Ajay Kumar Reddy 1-39, Sunil R 1-19, Ketan Patel 2-29, Md. Jafar Iqbal 2-33) lost to India: 200/1 in 17.4 overs (Prakasha Jayaramaiah 99 n.o., Ajay Kumar Reddy 43 (31), Ketan Patel 26 retired hurt, Dunna Venkatesh 11 n.o.)

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