Indians snap Pakistan’s unbeaten run with resounding win

India survived a brave effort from Pakistan to clinch the inaugural SBI T20 World Cup for the Blind with a 29-run victory in the final at the Central College grounds here on Thursday.

Cheered on by the 5000-odd crowd, the Indians snapped Pakistan’s unbeaten run, which included a resounding eight-wicket victory against the host in a league encounter on Saturday.

Batting first, India recovered from a spot of bother at 119 for four in 10 overs to post a competitive 258 in its 20 overs.

The rescue act was provided by middle-order batsman Ketan Patel, a full blind cricketer, who scored a brisk 98 off 43 balls.

At the innings break, Pakistan would have fancied its chances, given the team’s tremendous batting prowess, which has been on display throughout the tournament.

Dangerous opener Mohammad Akram, who posted the highest individual score in international blind cricket history earlier in the tournament (264 against the West Indies), was dismissed for 32.

With the main threat back in the pavilion in the eighth over at 75 for one, a resurgent India went on to pick up regular wickets to apply the skids on the chase.

The asking rate rose alarmingly, leaving the Pakistani batsmen with no choice but to chance their arms. A few hits did connect, but the desperate approach did not pay off in the end, sparking wild celebrations from the crowd and the newly crowned world champions.

The scores:

India 258 for eight in 20 overs (Ketan Patel 98, Prakash Jayaramaiah 43, Ajay Kumar Reddy 25, D. Venkatesh 21, Mohammad Jameel two for 24, Mohammad Akram two for 39, Idris Saleem two for 44) bt Pakistan 229 for eight in 20 overs (Mohammad Akram 32, Ali Murtaza 38, Amir Ishfaq 28, B. Pankaj three for 37).

Men-of-the-series (all Indians): Fully blind category (B1) - Ketan Patel; Partially blind category (B2) – Prakash Jayaramaiah; Partially sighted category (B3) – Ajay Kumar Reddy.

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