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Posted on Dec 08, 11:49AM | UNI
India tasted its first defeat in the ongoing world cup cricket for the blind losing to Pakistan by eight wickets not withstanding a fourth century in a row bby Prakash Jayaramaiah (126).
Pakistan maintained its winning streak.
Prakash Jayaramaiah continued his golden form to score his 4th century (126 in 82 balls) in the T20 world cup against Pakistan and helped India who were put in to bat by Pakistan to post 250 for 2.
The total seemed to be a tad less as the coach Patrick Rajkumar said the team was aiming at around 270. Prakash said the Pakistanis bowled a restrictive line on the leg stump and were backed up with very good ground fielding.
Credit should be given to the Pakistanis who bowled to the field and gave little width to the free-scoring Prakash. The Indians took some time to accelerate in the initial overs and in the last over Prakash ended in style with a beautiful six on the onside. Ketan Patel chipped in with a fine 72 off 33 balls, but one did get the creepy feeling that with enough ammunition left in the tank including skipper Shekar Naik the Indians should have taken more risks and upped the scoring rate after the middle overs.
Pakistan lost an early wicket in the form of Aleem Murtaza but Mohammad Akram and Aamir Isfaq played smartly by eschewing any risks and also not losing any opportunity to score off loose deliveries.
The Indian fielding which had maintained high standards all through the tournament wilted under pressure with two catches dropped and the Pakistanis scoring on both sides of the wicket.
Just when it looked like the Indians were losing the script, Mohammad Akram, was run out due to a smart piece of fielding for a crafty 92. A few more wickets at that time with Pakistan needing 100 runs off the last 7 overs could have turned the match but either way but Aamir Ishfaq, a fully blind player, kept his cool and ensured India did not get back into the game though he missed scoring a ton.
Jameel, too, chipped in with a useful 45 off 22 balls in the slog overs.
Ruing the missed opportunity Indian captain Shekar Naik said the first 6 overs when Indians could not accelerate the score proved to be costly. 'We had last beaten Pakistan in February last in a T20, and we were aware of their strengths. I am confident that this experience will help us to get the better of Pakistan whom we expect to meet again in the finals.' As always, the atmosphere was emotionally charged with cheers and chants from the Indian fans and the Pakistan contingent. Legendary wicket keeper batsman Syed Kirmani who presided over the presentation ceremony said he was amazed by the way the visually impaired players showed their anticipation in the field and lauded their agility and competence in fielding which was equal to any normal cricketer.
Tomorrow India is expected to have its easy against Nepal who have won only once previously in this tournament. India now have 4 wins and 1 loss up to now and are sure of a place in the semis.