T20 WORLD CUP
National blind team desperate for win
Defending champions India are the favourites to win on their home turf
The South African men’s blind cricket team have endured a torrid start to their T20 World Cup campaign in India.
They have lost three on the bounce ahead of Friday’s match against defending champions India in Mumbai.
India lifted the trophy in Cape Town in 2014 and are the favourites to replicate that effort on home turf, although their archrivals and 2014 runners-up Pakistan will have different ideas after thumping the holders by seven wickets (205/3 in 15.3 overs) in a high-scoring encounter in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Pakistan have won four matches on the trot and top the 10-nation standings ahead of unbeaten Australia, who have a hat-trick of wins including beating SA by seven wickets.
India are third, Bangladesh fourth with Sri Lanka next.
SA began their campaign on Tuesday and suffered a 72-run loss to Bangladesh in New Delhi, before going down to Australia.
Third time out on Thursday saw them downed by Nepal who registered a six-wicket victory for their first win.
South African captain Sonwabile Bidla, who is partially sighted, topscored against Nepal with an unbeaten 57 off 59 balls coming in at No4. This after SA had been reduced to 9-2 after being sent in to bat.
Bidla has amassed 82 runs from three knocks (two not outs) and lies 26th on the table for leading batsmen.
Sri Lanka’s Suranga Samapth heads the list with 282 runs at an average of 282 with a highest score of 146 not out.
SA opening batsmen Dominic Scott Adriaans and Ephraim Mathabo have scored 47 runs apiece.
SA’s bowlers have battled. Tefo Lesley Claasen, Asher Jonathan Hattingh and Bidla have each taken one wicket.
Their next assignment, against India, is looming.