Disability world Cup: Rajan, Mahendaran star in India's 59-run win over Bangladesh
Left-arm spinner Anish Rajan (5-15), a mechanical engineer by profession, impressed with the ball, as did all-rounder Suganesh Mahendaran (60 off 35 balls, 7x4, 3x6), the son of an autorickshaw driverr
India's disabled cricket team beat Bangladesh by 59 runs and registered their first win in the Physical Disability T20 World Series at Old Elizabethans Cricket Club in Worcester yesterday. Left-arm spinner Anish Rajan (5-15), a mechanical engineer by profession, impressed with the ball, as did all-rounder Suganesh Mahendaran (60 off 35 balls, 7x4, 3x6), the son of an autorickshaw driver. After being put in to bat, India lost its top three batsmen with just 80 on the board after 10 overs.
However, Mahendaran, who had also scored an impressive 62 in the warm-up game against England last week, continued his form. His quick half-century saw the Indians finish on 182 for five after 20 overs. "Initially, it was difficult to play my natural game as they were bowling well but then I had a good partnership with [skipper] Vikrant [27 off 21] and we built on it. After spending some time out in the middle, I found it easier to play my strokes. It's great to score a half-century in my first World Cup match," Mahendaran, who shared an 80-run stand for the fourth wicket with Keni, told mid-day from Worcester yesterday. In reply, Bangladesh managed just 123 for eight in their 20 overs with M Vuian (33) and S Shamim (30) being their notable scorers.
Left-arm spinner Rajan, the sixth bowler to be introduced in the attack, said he enjoyed his four-over spell in which he conceded only 15 runs. "I just wanted to do well for my country and I'm glad I delivered. It's a dream come true for me to take five wickets and win the man-of-the-match award. I just stuck to my basics by bowing in the right areas and that helped," said Rajan. In their previous match, India had to be content with only a point against England after the game was abandoned due to rain. India take on Afghanistan today, and coach Sulakshan Kulkarni said it will be a crucial clash since Afghanistan have won both their initial matches here. "Our boys are confident of continuing with the same approach against Afghanistan too," Kulkarni added.
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