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India defeat Pakistan to lift T20 World Cup

14th December 2012

In a typically gripping India-Pakistan clash, India defeated Pakistan by 30 runs in the T20 World Cup for the Blind at the Central College grounds, Bangalore. Though the winning margin seemed a little comfortable for India, the match actually went all the way to the wire, and the result could have gone either way. Ketan Bhai Patel, a fully blind player, was the hero of the finals who came up a combative match-winning 98. “I was more concerned about India reaching 300 rather than my hundred,” he said.

Put into bat after Pakistan captain Zeeshan Abbasi won the toss, Prakash Jayaramaiah opening for India began with a flurry of strokes scoring 14 off the very first over. Just when India looked set for a big start, vice-captain, Ajay Kumar Reddy misread a ball from Zeeshan Abbasi and was clean bowled. This set off a panic in the Indian ranks and they lost 4 wickets with the wily Mohammad Akram accounting for 2 wickets. At the half-way mark, India were 119 for 4, and it did seem like Pakistan would be successful in containing India to a manageable total.

After the drinks break, Dunna Venkatesh who was at the crease was beaten by a fastish and swinging delivery from Idris Saleem and India had now lost its five top order batsman for 157. The momentum was now back with Pakistan with seven overs left for India to up the rate. But Ketan Bhai Patel took charge and suddenly broke through with a flurry of pleasing boundaries. But in a bid to up the rate in the slog, he tried to loft Mohammad Jammel and ended up giving a tame catch to the bowler. At the 16th over India were 212 for 5 and just when they were looking to get near 280 or so, Pakistan were back in the hunt with some brilliantly controlled bowling in the last three overs. They gave away only 11 runs off the last 2 overs and India finished at 258 for 8. For Pakistan Mohammad Akram, Idris Saleem and Mohammad Jameel tool 2 wickets each.

In the league match, Pakistan had successfully chased down 250 against India and the target seemed within their reach. “We wanted to contain India to around 23-240 but though we gave away a few runs more than we wanted, we are confident of getting to 259,” said Zeeshan Abbasi, at the break. The Indians who preferred to have more runs under their belt, still backed themselves to win. “The only threat to us is Akram,” said Shekar Naik, the Indian skipper adding, “We have a plan to get him out early.”

In reply, Pakistan started cautiously and were 40 for no loss at the end of the 4th over. A chance came India’s way in the 5th over but Shekar Naik dropped an easy catch after catching it, with the ball popping out of his hands. Pakistan were then cruising along at 75 for no loss, with the dangerous looking Akram chancing his arm and holed out to D Venkatesh off the bowling of Ketan Patel. Despite having dropped 2 catches earlier, this was a breakthrough India were waiting for. Pakistan lost another wicket in the 8th over with the score reading at 85 for 2. At the half-way stage after 10 overs, Pakistan were placed at 108 for 2 in contrast to India who were 119 for 4. Though Pakistan had more wickets in their hand, the Indians had pegged them back with the asking rate not climbing rapidly. Amir Ishfaq and Mohammad Jameel stitched up a half century partnership between them, but India got another important breakthrough with the wicket of Mohammad Jameel. A panicky Pakistan started regularly losing wickets after this and failed to accelerate the scoring. Pankaj Bhue reprised out 3 wickets for 37 runs with some clever change of pace. Left to score 45 off the last 2 overs, the match was now for India to lose. And eventually win they did by 30 runs, to rousing cheers by a large crowd (as big as for a test match) and bursting crackers.

Delirious Indian supporters lifted the Indian captain Shekar Naik and the organizer, GK Mahantesh on their shoulders. Prakash Jayaramaiah standing behind the stumps, even did a jig in the last but one over, sensing that India had put itself in an unbeatable position. Indian coach Patrick Rajkumar said the difference between the team was the outstanding field by India and the commitment shown by his players.

A tearful Pakistan skipper acknowledged that India deserved to win the world cup. “Our fully blind players gave away too many extras while their Indian counterparts were more disciplined and they also fielded better than us,” he said.

GK Mahantesh, Vice-President, World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC), General Secretary, (CAIB), and Managing Trustee, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, said he was proud of his team who had brought laurels to the country winning the most coveted world cup. Legendary cricketer Syed Kirmani lauded the players’ spirit and said the finals had all the fanfare, the twists and turns, the excitement and tension of an India-Pakistan match, for which the credit should go to the players and the organizers.
Chief guests at the presentation ceremony included Sri Oscar Fernandes, MP, AICC General Secretary and Chief Patron, CAIB, Sri Lankan great Arjuna Ranatunga, and Sandalwood star Ragini Dwivedi.

Brief Scores: India: 258 for 8 in 20 overs (Prakash Jayaramaiah (B2) 43 (24), Ajay Kumar Reddy (B3) 25 (10), Ketan Bhai Patel (B1) 98 (43), Dunna Venkatesh (B2) 21 (14) Mohammad Akram (B3) 4-0-39-2, Idris Saleem (B1) 4-044-2, Mohammad Jameel (B3) 2-0-24-2) beat Pakistan: 229 for 8 in 20 overs (Mohammad Akram (B3) 32 (23), Ali Murtaza (B2) 38 (24), Amir Ishfaq (B1) 28 (26), Pankaj Bhue (B2) 4-0-37-3). India won by 30 runs. Man of the Match: Ketan Bhai Patel (B1). Man of the Series: For fully blind category (B1) - Ketan Bhai Patel; For partially blind category (B2) – Prakash Jayaramaiah; For partially sighted category (B3) – Ajay Kumar Reddy.