India defeated a spirited England by 36 runs to lift the inaugural Physical Disability World Series trophy at New Road.
India’s 180 for 7, bolstered by some mesmerising hitting at the back end of the innings, ultimately proved too steep for Iain Nairn’s side, who finished on 144 for 9.
England booked their place in the final after beating Afghanistan by 10 runs in a tense morning semi-final and were well placed at 90 for 1 in the 11th over of the final.
But when Angus Brown, just 17 last month and one of the tournament’s standout performers, was caught in the covers for 44 off Goyat, the pendulum swung India’s way.
The 13th over proved decisive. Callum Flynn, such a lynchpin for England with bat, ball and in the field, was dismissed for 28 off the first delivery of Goyat’s over, leaving the hosts 97 for 3. Two balls later, Liam O’Brien was run out without facing a ball after chancing a single through a misfield to the keeper.
When Liam Thomas and skipper Nairn followed cheaply in the 14th over, England were 105 for 6 with five wickets having fallen in 22 deliveries.
It was the decisive stage of the final after India’s innings had also been a tale of two halves.
England had bowled well to restrict India to 85 for 2 after 13 overs, making a dream start when Ben Tyler had Khan caught behind with the second ball of the innings.
A patient 47-run second-wicket partnership between Phanase (36) and skipper Keni (29) kept India ticking over.
After Keni was caught and bowled by left-arm spinner Fred Bridges, Ravindra Sante (53 from 35) and Phanase took India to 113 before the latter was run out off the final ball of the 15th over.
That brought Suganesh Mahendran to the crease and a seismic shift to the proceedings, whose remarkable 11-ball 33 included four sixes, including one monstrous hit into the top of the New Road stand.
India had more than doubled their total, with 95 coming off the last seven overs.
The result was a target that was always going to require something special against a team that had arrived fresh – and had the advantage of winning the toss, against a team tiring after a stirring 10-wicket victory in the morning over big-hitting Afghanistan. Liam O’Brien’s 34-ball 53 and 45 from Jamie Goodwin helped England post 147 for 7.
In reply, a tight spell from Fred Bridges, whose four overs yielded just 12 and two wickets, applied the squeeze, with regular wickets leaving them with an unlikely 20 required from the final over, from which just 10 came.
As the dust settled on India’s victory, skipper Nairn was philosophical in defeat.
“We’ve given it everything we had,” he said. “We’re a young team, with two teenagers in our 11, and three in the squad. India are adults, they are playing televised cricket over there, some of them – so to come into an environment like this is more normal.
“For our kids, we’re playing club cricket – some of them are playing on village greens on a Saturday. We have some very special human beings in this team.”
Goodwin added: “I don’t think you can fault the cricket that we’ve played all week. We’ve been brilliant in the field – as good as we have ever been. We probably lacked a little bit with the bat, but you can’t fault the effort that everyone has put in.
“We’re a close group of lads and that will get us through the disappointment. We’ve been beaten by a better team on the day – they’ve played five, won five.
“It was an example of power hitting at its best, a great example of what this game can offer. It can only have helped.”
Source: ESPN Crickinfo