Defending champions India beat Pakistan by two wickets in the final of the 5th ODI Blind Cricket World Cup at the Sharjah Stadium on Saturday.
Sunil Ramesh rose to the occasion as he played a great knock of 93 to help India retain Blind Cricket World Cup title after beating arch-rivals Pakistan by two wickets in a thrilling final.
Chasing a huge 308-run target in 40 overs, India romped home in the penultimate over of the match. India started off their chase in a cracking manner racing to 111/1 after 15 overs but soon lost two quick wickets in the form of run-outs to be at 116/3 after 16th over.
Sunil and skipper Ajay Tiwari, who scored a fine 62, then took the responsibility and took India’s total to 190/3 after 25 overs. India, who lost Ramesh, were 271/4 after 35 overs. Ramesh was cleaned up by Amir Ishfaq.
India struggled in the final stages of their run chase as Pakistan claimed three successive wickets to gain an upper hand over their arch-rivals.
However, a wide delivery rolled on to the boundary and the pendulum swung back in India’s favour.
India had beaten Pakistan on January 13 in the group stage. The defending champions had beaten Bangladesh by seven wickets in the semi-final.
Accolades poured in for the Indian team with Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulating the team for their achievement.
“Congratulations to our cricket team for winning the 2018 Blind Cricket World Cup! They make the nation proud and inspire every Indian with their game as well as phenomenal attitude. True champions!,” Modi wrote on his twitter handle.
Earlier, riding on Badar Munir’s fine half-century, Pakistan scored 307/8 to give India big target in the final of the fifth edition of the tournament.
Riyasat Khan and skipper Nisar Ali also played solid knocks of 48 and 47 respectively to take Pakistan total past 300 after they were put into bat by India. Pakistan reached 200-run mark in 27 overs after losing five wickets.
Pakistan made it to the final after defeating Sri Lanka by 156 runs while India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets to book their place in the final. India, who are favourites to retain the title, have remained unbeaten in this tournament.
The Pakistan Blind Cricket Council has invited ICC CEO David Richardson, former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas and former Indian wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani to witness the final.