Pakistan beat Australia to enter IBSA World Games final

ISLAMABAD  - Pakistan blind cricket team on Wednesday advanced to the final of the ongoing In­ternational Blind Sports Fed­eration (IBSA) World Blind Games with a convincing six-wicket win against Australia. 

Batting first Australia scored 107 runs in the allotted 20 overs, accord­ing to information received here. Aus­tralia’s opening pair of M Cameron and M McCarthy provided a decent start to their team, with a superb 53-run stand. Muhammad Salman provided a much-needed breakthrough to Paki­stan by dismissing skipper McCarthy, who scored 19 off 27 balls. 

But Cameron stood his ground firm and kept the scoreboard tick­ing while losing partners at the other end. He scored 41 off 47 balls. Besides the openers, none of the Australian batters could make it to the double figures. Matiullah, Israr Hassan and Fakhar Abbas claimed two wickets each for Pakistan, while Muhammad Salman and Muhammad Asif grabbed one wicket apiece. 

Chasing 108, Pakistan comfortably recorded their third consecutive win in the tournament for the loss of just three wickets and 33 balls to spare. Mohsin Khan led Pakistan’s run chase with a 35-ball 37, hitting a boundary, while Matiullah remained unbeaten on 23. Moain Aslam (15) and Zafar Iqbal (12) were the other main con­tributors. The third consecutive win steered the Pakistan team to the final. 

In their last group match, they will take on face England on Thursday. Pakistan launched their World Blind Games campaign with an 18-run vic­tory over traditional rivals India be­fore registering a seven-wicket against Bangladesh on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s visually im­paired woman archer Dr Bakhtawar Khalid Kayani is all set to make history as she competes at the IBSA World Games in Birmingham. “I am the only woman archer from Pakistan as well as from the whole of Asia to compete in archery discipline,” Bakhtawar told APP on the phone. The 30-year-old Bakhtawar, a V-2 archer said she was proud to get the opportunity to carry Pakistan’s flag at the prestigious Games. “It’s a dream that comes true to represent my country at such a high level,” she said. She said that she had been training hard for the event and would be trying her best to make a re­spectable finish. “I am eager to show­case my skills. I will be trying to live up to the expectations,” she added.

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