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.
Both teams came into the contest with a superb record during the Blind World Cup. 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.
However, on the day that mattered, Pakistan batted first and put together 197/9 on the scoreboard with Badar Munir scoring 57 from 37 balls hitting eight fours and one six during the way. He enjoyed support from Muhammad Jamil, who scored 24 from 15 balls with the duo putting together 58 runs.
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.