Badar Munir’s century propels Pakistan to victory in T20 opener against India

Badar Munir's unbeaten century steered the Pakistan Blind Cricket Team to a commendable five-wicket victory over India in the first game of the three-match Blinds T20 Bilateral Cricket Series at the ICC Cricket Academy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  

According to information made available here on Thursday, the ceremonial first toss was conducted by Naeema Alvi Bawany, daughter of the President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi. The event was graced by the presence of dignitaries including Syed Sultan Shah, President of the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC), and Rajnish Henry, WBCC Vice President, among others. 

Opting to field first after winning the toss, Pakistan's captain, Nisar Ali, saw immediate results as Badar Munir dismissed key batsman Sunil Ramesh early on. Despite this early setback, India managed to post a challenging total of 213-5 in their 20 overs, thanks to significant contributions from Captain Dargah Rao, who scored a brisk 61 off 42 balls, and Venkatesh Rao's 49 off 37 balls. Pakistan's bowling attack was led by Badar Munir and Kamran Akhter, who took two wickets each, with Mati Ullah also chipping in with a wicket. 

Facing a stiff target, Pakistan's chase encountered early hurdles, losing vital wickets including that of Captain Nisar Ali. However, Badar Munir emerged as Pakistan's hero, orchestrating a masterful innings that saw Pakistan over the line with 5 wickets to spare in the 19.2 overs. Munir's explosive 129 not out off 63 balls, adorned with 5 sixes and 18 fours, was a spectacle in itself, earning him the Man of the Match award. 

Reflecting on the victory, Syed Sultan Shah, Chairman of the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) and President of the WBCC, expressed immense pride in the team's performance, particularly lauding Munir's pivotal role in the triumph. "We are really happy with the victory against India. Badar Munir's performance at the crucial time was outstanding and commendable," Shah remarked. 

The match-winner, Badar Munir, shared his joy and determination post-match, stating, "I am glad about my performance, especially against India. I will try to do my best in the rest of the series matches." 

With this victory, Pakistan has taken an early lead in the series, setting the stage for an exciting continuation of the cricketing rivalry. The teams are set to face off again in the second T20 match on February 23, with the series concluding on February 25.

Azhar Khan is an accomplished senior sports journalist with extensive experience in the field. He can be reached at azharmasood786@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at @azharmasood786

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