Indians off to a flying start

Hosts crush Australia by 215 runs; Pakistan score over England

Prakasha Jayaramaiah’s stunning 76-ball century powered title favourites India to a facile 215-run win over contenders Australia in the opening match of the T20 World Cup for the Blind at the Central College grounds on Sunday.

Opting to bat on a flat wicket, India rode predominantly on Prakasha’s 173-run effort to cruise to 341 for two in the allotted 20 overs. Half-centuries from vice-captain Ajay Kumar Reddy (52) and Ketan Patel (50) also helped the cause.

In reply to India’s mammoth total, Australia ended on 126 for eight in their quota of overs. Much of Australia’s downfall was a result of India’s fielding prowess.

The Indians, led by skipper Shekhar Naik, inflicted five run outs to derail the Aussies and vindicate their coach Patrick Rajkumar’s faith in his wards’ fielding ability ahead of the mega event.

Man of the match Prakasha said it was initially hard to score but eventually he found it easy. “The wicket does not have any bounce and for the kind of batsman I am, it is not a good thing. We are happy with this win but we have a long way to go,” said the 32-year-old.

Meanwhile, Pakistan, led by Nissar Ali’s quickfire century, too kicked off their campiagn with a comfortable 166-run win over England.

In other matches, notwithstanding Johan Schroeder’s century, Sri Lanka pulled off a thrilling four-run win over South Africa, while Nepal thumped Bangladesh by nine wickets.

Brief scores: India: 341/2 in 20 overs (Prakasha Jayaramiah 172, Ajay Reddy 52, Ketan Patel 50) bt Australia: 126/8 in 20 overs; Pakistan: 329/1 in 20 overs (Nissar Ali 153, Tahir Ali 64) bt England: 163/7 in 20 overs (Devon 41; Mohammad Waqas 2-25).

Sri Lanka: 243/3 in 15 overs (Ravindra 62, Deshapriya 48, Samankumara 47) bt South Africa: 239/8 in 20 overs (Johan Schroeder 106, Sean Schwan 36; Karuna Tilaka 3-47).

Bangaladesh: 154/7 in 20 overs (Suryaprasad Bhattrai 2-25) lt to Nepal: 157/1 in 8 overs (Suryaprasad Bhattrai 60).

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