Sharjah: The Indian team outplayed Pakistan by two wickets in a thrilling final to win the Blind Cricket World Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Saturday. This is India’s second consecutive title win, after they had trounced the same opponents in South In 2014.
The defending champions successfully defended their title after they chased down a massive total of 308, posted by Pakistan. Indian skipper Ajay Tiwari had won the toss and had opted to bowl first. But the decision back-fired as Pakistan, riding on Badar Munir’s 57, Risayat Khan’s 48 and skipper Nisar Ali’s 47 romped to 307/8 in their 50 overs.
Deepak Malik and Rambir were the most successful bowlers for India, scalping two wickets apiece. Sunil Ramesh also took one wicket. Pakistan had earlier went past the 200-run mark in the 27th over.
In reply, India got off to a wonderful start-scoring 111/1 after 15 overs but two quick wickets in the form of run-outs reduced them to 116/3 at the end of the 16th over. Tiwari (62) then took control of the Indian innings and took them to 190/3 at the end of 25 overs.
However, quick wickets towards the end quickly shifted the momentum in Pakistan’s favour as India faltered in the closing stages of the match. But the men in blue showed nerves of steel as they eked out a win by two wickets to defend their title.
India, earlier had beaten Pakistan in a group match in the tournament by seven wickets on January 14. While Pakistan had beaten Sri Lanka by 156 runs en route to the final, the defending champions had outplayed Bangladesh by seven wickets to make it to the summit clash.
India, who were favourites to win the trophy, thus remained unbeaten throughout the tournament. The Pakistan Blind Cricket Council had invited ICC CEO Dave Richardson, Pakistani batting great Zaheer Abbas and former Indian wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani to watch the final.