Pakistan blind set the standard
World champions Pakistan blind underlined their pedigree with a second comprehensive victory over England in the space of two days.
Having won the solitary Twenty20 international by 101 runs yesterday, Pakistan romped to an equally emphatic 149-run triumph in the first of three one-day internationals at the Sharjah International Cricket Stadium.
Once again Pakistan’s formidable batting line-up proved too strong as opener Anees Javeed hit 109 and Amir Ishfaq a thrilling unbeaten 128 off just 48 balls in a total of 498 for seven off 40 overs - a record in blind cricket.
There were also more than useful contributions from Mohammad Afzal, Mohammad Waqas and Mohammad Fayaz, who made 64, 48 and 30 respectively, while Heindrich Swanepoel and Nathan Foy conceded more than 100 from their eight overs.
Andy Powers supplied the ballast to England’s response, making a patient 108 at the top of the order, and they were only 35 runs short of Pakistan’s 20-over score before Foy fell for a 42-ball 94.
With him went England’s prospects of a victory and, although Luke Sugg followed up his unbeaten 71 in the Twenty20 international with a valiant 63, the middle and lower order subsided amid a flurry of run-outs, of which there were six in total.
“We scored too slowly,” Ian Martin, the ECB’s national disability cricket manager, told ecb.co.uk. “Andy’s century was at virtually a run a ball, which is too slow for blind cricket.
“Nathan was very unlucky to get out, one of those where he didn’t make proper contact with the ball and it trickled back on to his stumps - difficult enough to combat for sighted batsmen let alone when you can’t see what is happening.
"If he could have stayed around for another 10 overs we would have had a very good game indeed.”
Despite the heavy defeat, Martin praised his side’s attitude in the face of a daunting run-chase in gruelling conditions.
“It's very hot. I have to give credit to our guys, who never let their heads drop,” he said, adding that England “definitely feel as if we can beat them” ahead of the second match of the series tomorrow.