India beat Sri Lanka to win T20 series
Led by Captain Ajay Reddy, India posted a comprehensive victory against Sri Lanka in the third and decisive match of the T20 series.
Reddy led the team from the front with the bat and the ball to beat Lanka by 20 runs. With this win, India has taken an unbeatable 3-0 lead.
The match was played at the BHEL Sports Complex Ground in Bhopal, with the city witnessing an international cricket match after 20 years.
Batting first, India put up a total of 209/5 in 20 overs, with the major contribution coming from Reddy's 50 runs, who walked away with the Man of the Match award.
I am really happy with Team India's performance. We tried a new combination of players in the opening partnership keeping in mind the World Cup. It was a touch match as the Lankan players are doing well. Their B1 (fully blind) players are very dangerous and we planned our strategy based on that. - Ajay Reddy, Captain, Indian blind cricket team
The Lankans lost early wickets, which put them on the backfoot and unable to chase the score with the required run rate. Their star player K Silva put up a valiant fight with 50 runs, but the team was finally bowled out for 189/8.
The teams have a two-day break before the fourth game on 20 October in Ludhiana. The Ludhiana match will see a new player making his presence felt in the side, Kapil Dev. Dev is the first blind cricketer from Ludhiana to make it to the international team.
This is part of the strategy adopted by the Cricket Association for the Blind (CABI) ahead of the 2020 Blind Cricket World Cup.
"Now that we have won the series, we want to use the remaining matches to check out new players," said John David, General Secretary, CABI. "In Ludhiana, we will give a chance to Kapil Dev and in Faridabad, we plan to give an opportunity to another new player called Sikander Shah, who is a B2 (partially blind) category player."
Reddy is also happy with the opportunity the series has thrown up for playing on different wickets. "In Mumbai, we played on a grass wicket, while here in Bhopal, the ground was hard. Playing on different wickets will give us good experience."
This comprehensive victory , which comes soon after India lifted the Blind Cricket Tri-Series Cup, cements India's reputation as the best blind cricket side in the world. A title well deserved given the tremendous odds the CABI and the players have faced to come this far.