India dominate T-20 wheelchair cricket series, beat Bangladesh 3-0
India put up an outstanding performance at the recent International T-20 Wheelchair Cricket Series beating Bangladesh 3-0. No small achievement given the considerable experience of the visiting side.
Saurabh Malik was declared Man of the Series for his outstanding performance with the bat. It was Malik's brilliant innings of 104 runs as opener in the first match that set the tone for India's domination.
The three matches were played in Mumbai in the T-20 format and this is how the scoreboard looked at the end of the series:
- Match One - India 201/3, Bangladesh 143/8.
- Match Two - India, 143/2. Bangladesh, 142/10. Man of the Match was Parshuram Desle.
- Match Three - India, 238/2, Bangladesh 186/5. Man of the Match Nikul Prajapati played outstanding an innings of 146 runs.
Rahul Ramugade, Vice-Captain of the Maharashtra wheelchair cricket team and member of the national side, said he was happiest with the batting performance.
I am happy with India's performance in all departments, but batting was the strongest. We lost only 7 wickets in all the 3 matches. In April last year, we lost to Bangladesh, 2-1, but we rebuilt our team. As Vice- Captain of the Maharashtra wheelchair cricket team, I am especially proud that 8 of 18 players in the national team are from Maharashtra. - Rahul Ramugade, Member, Indian Wheelchair Cricket Team
The Indian side had a good mix of experienced players and newcomers, with the latter living up to their potential. Ramesh Sartape, Captain, Indian Wheelchair Cricket Team, was happy with the fielding and batting, but says the side needs to work on its bowling skills. "We need to improve our bowling, but the positive takeaway is that the new players performed really well and that added firepower to India's batting.
Sartape hopes the performance will finally attract the attention and support of the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI). So far, despite repeated appeals, there has been none forthcoming. "We are trying to reach the BCCI officials and if we get support from the mainstream media, that might get the cricket board's attention.
India now look strong and confident ahead of the next big tournament in May. Up next, is the first ever Asia Cup of wheelchair cricket to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal, starting 1 May 2019. The other teams participating here are Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. All three sides have the advantage of support and funding from their respective cricket boards and have considerable experience. India will have its work cut out as it starts preparing for this crucial encounter.