India beat Pakistan to win Blind T20 Asia Cup

World champions India held their nerve impressively on Sunday, defeating Pakistan by 45 runs to lift the first T20 Asia Cup for the Blind at the Nehru Stadium in Kochi.

Indian blind cricket team celebrate after beating Pakistan in the final of first ever T20 Asia Cup Cricket Tournament for the Blind in Kochi.   -  Thulasi Kakkat

India versus Pakistan matches are all about pressure. World champions India held their nerve impressively on Sunday, defeating Pakistan by 45 runs to lift the first T20 Asia Cup for the Blind at the Nehru Stadium here.

Despite their big star Prakash Jayaramaiah, considered as one of the world’s best batsmen in this version, falling for a duck and the consistent Ketan Patel not scoring big, India still managed to make 206 in their innings, thanks to some late fireworks from captain Ajay Kumar Reddy who made an unbeaten 34 from 16 balls (1x6, 1x4).

“That target was not too big. In fact, I would say that India did not play very well, we played well but unfortunately, we lost a wicket in the very first over and then we had too many run-outs,” said Anees Javed, the Pakistan captain.

Five of the Pakistan batsmen were run out and that should offer a picture of India’s brilliant fielding in the final.

Pakistan, chasing India’s big total after losing the toss, were struggling at 80 for six in the ninth over but a 58-run stand between captain Anees Javed (43) and Israr Hassan for the next wicket put the side back on track.

Javed was in fine touch and his knock, which contained four boundaries, gave India some worry but with his run-out, the result of some fine work by Indian skipper Ajay Reddy, things became easy for the hosts.

“When we lost to Pakistan in the league phase earlier, I had said that we will put our 100 per cent in the final. We did just that,” said Ajay Reddy after the victory.

Scores (final): India 208 for five in 20 overs (Dunna Venkatesh 36, Deepak Malik 40, Ketan Patel 34, Anil Garia 25, Ajay Kumar Reddy 34 n.o.) bt Pakistan 163 in 18.2 overs (Amir Ishfaq 38, Anees Javed 43, Israr Hassan 28, Deepak Malik two for 41).