Bengaluru, Feb 12:
A spirited fielding performance coupled with some excellent batting by Prakash Jayaramaiah helped India thrash Pakistan by nine wickets in the final of the cricket Twenty20 World Cup for Blind at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore and retain the title.
Opting to bat first, Pakistan made 197/8, with Badar Munnir blasting 57 off 37 balls. He was well supported by Muhammad Jamil, who made 24.
In reply, India rallied around Prakash and Ajay (43) to chase down the target with 2.2 overs to spare.
Prakash was unbeaten on 99, hitting 15 boundaries during his quickfire 60-ball knock.
Prakash was adjudged Man of the Match and also won the tournament’s best wicketkeeper award.
Pakistan’s Riasat Khan was adjudged Player of the Series in the B1 category for his overall aggregate of 452 runs and four wickets.
Badar Munnir won the Man of the Series award in the B2 category with 417 runs and eight wickets while Sri Lanka’s star player Suranga sampath was adjudged Man of the Series in the B3 category for his 733 runs and four wickets.
Pakistan began 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 looked back from there.
They went on the offensive to take wickets at regular intervals as Pakistan lost momentum. Ketan Patel and Md. Jaffar Iqbal were the most successful among the Indian 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 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.
But 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.
“The coaching camps where the team worked on many things allowed everyone to gell well,” Indian captain Ajay Reddy after 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.”
Pakistan: 197/8 in 20 overs (Badar Munir 57, Muhammad Jamil 24; Ketan Patel 2/29, Md. Jafar Iqbal 2/33) vs India: 200/1 in 17.4 overs (Prakasha Jayaramaiah 99 n.o., Ajay Kumar Reddy 43).