A superb all round performance saw England beat Australia by 58 runs to claim a fourth successive win at the Blind Cricket Twenty20 World Cup in India and leave themselves as very strong favourites to claim a place in the semi finals.
With England batting first, Matt Page and Ed Hossell both reached double figures before falling, but England’s batsmen dominated after that. Peter Blueitt and Justin Hollingsworth shared a century partnership with Hollingsworth eventually dismissed for 54, his second half century of the tournament. By then, Blueitt had already passed fifty for the sixth time in eight matches and when Nathan Foy joined him the B1 (Totally Blind) pair added an astonishing 69 runs from the final 26 balls of the innings.
Blueitt finished agonisingly short of his first international hundred on 98 not out from 50 deliveries, whilst Foy smashed 40 not out from just 15 balls. This meant England set a formidable total of 251/3 for the Aussies to chase.
Australia’s openers started well sharing a partnership of around 80 before the first wicket fell, but they were always behind the required run rate and as the required rate rose wickets started to fall regularly.
Australia eventually reached 193/5 from their 20 overs, Luke Sugg picked up one wicket and a run out, Rory Hossell took his first international wicket via a Dan Field stumping, with the other two wickets falling to run outs from Matt Page and Ed Hossell.
All of England’s bowlers were fairly economical with Amin Afshari and Nathan Foy particularly impressive, as the two B1 (totally blind) players managed to concede fewer runs from their four overs each than most of the partially sighted bowlers, something that doesn’t happen very often in international cricket.
England face West Indies in their final group stage match on Thursday 9th February knowing that a win or even a narrow defeat will be enough to see them through to the semi finals. This is very likely to happen as whilst West Indies have pushed England relatively close in the past they have never managed to beat them.
Probable 2017 Blind Cricket Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals:
Pakistan v England
India v Sri Lanka
Coverage of all matches in the tournament can be found on www.CricHQ.com which features text commentary and full scorecards.
England XI: Matt Page, Ed Hossell, Peter Blueitt, Justin Hollingsworth, Nathan Foy, Matt Dean, Luke Sugg (Captain), Rory Hossell, Amin Afshari, Dan Field, Mo Khatri.
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* England are now 4th in the group stage table, Bangladesh in 5th have finished their fixtures and Australia in 6th just have table topping Pakistan left to play.
* Peter Blueitt’s 6th half century of the tournament means that he still has half of England’s scores of 50 or more in the tournament, Justin Hollingsworth has 2 half centuries, Luke Sugg 1 century, with Ed Hossell, Matt Dean and Matt Page having each scored one fifty.
* England’s remaining fixtures can be found at the link below.
LINK: International fixtures
* The tournament Results so far and group stage table can be found at the blink below.
LINK: International results