Team India beat arch-rivals Pakistan by two wickets in Blind Cricket World Cup final on Saturday at Sharjah to lift the title for the second time. Chasing 309 for victory, India rode on Sunil Ramesh's fine 93 and captain Ajay Reddy's 63 as they overhauled the total with more than one over to go. India successfully defended the coveted title and lifted the title for the second consecutive time. With this win, the Reddy-led team also remained unbeaten in the tournament. Pakistan, batting first, scored 308 for eight in their allotted off 40 overs. For Pakistan, Badar Munir top scored with 57 while Riasat Khan and Nisar Ali chipped in with a handy 48 and 47 runs respectively.
India had also defeated Pakistan in the T20 Blind World Cup final last year to successfully defend the title.
Wishes poured in from all quarters for the victorious Indian team. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "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!"
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!— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 20, 2018
Congratulations to visually impaired Indian cricket team for winning World Cup cricket for the Blind. We are all so proud.U inspire us all— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) January 20, 2018
Congratulations to visually challenged Indian cricket team for winning World Cup cricket for the Blind. You made the nation proud and are an inspiration for all of us. pic.twitter.com/ItvrRHPQ2K— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) January 20, 2018
Earlier, India had defeated Bangladesh by seven wickets in the semi-final as Ganeshbhai Muhudkar was adjudged the man of the match for his magnificent 112 off 69 balls to set up the summit clash with Pakistan. Winning the toss, Bangladesh elected to bat and were restricted to 256 in 38.5 overs by in-form Indian bowling department. The bowlers struck early as Bangladesh lost two early wickets with less than 50 runs on the board. For Bangladesh, Abdul Malik stood tall with an unbeaten 108.
For India, Durga Rao, who starred with the ball, finished the match with figures of three for 20. Rao was ably supported by Deepak Malik and Prakash who bagged two wickets each.
While Deepak Mallik was retired out for 53 off 43 balls, Naresh made a handy 40 runs off 18 balls.
Earlier in the group stages, India had already beaten Pakistan by seven wickets. Pakistan had scored a competitive target of 282 for eight in the stipulated 40 overs. In reply, India comfortably chased down the target in 34.5 overs as Haryana's Deepak Malik (B3 - blind level 3) top-scored with an unbeaten 79 off 71 balls.
Malik, who steered India's innings struck eight boundaries. Apart from him, Venkatesh (64 off 55 balls) and skipper Ajay Reddy (47 off 34) had shared 106 runs for the fourth wicket to help India register their second consecutive win of the tournament.