England finish runners-up to India in Physical Disability World Series final

England finish runners-up to India in Physical Disability World Series final
England finish runners-up to India in Physical Disability World Series final

England finished runners-up in the Physical Disability World Series, following defeat to India in the final at Blackfinch New Road.

Having beaten Afghanistan in the morning's semi-final, England took the pitch again less than 90 minutes later for the final against an India team who have looked clinical throughout the tournament.

The visitors racked up a huge 180/7 from their 20 overs, which featured some big hitting from Suganesh Mahendaran. The number five hit four sixes and a four in his innings of 33 from 11 balls, with two of the sixes leaving the ground completely.

England's chase started brightly, getting ahead of the required run rate in the first 10 overs. But when Angus Brown fell for 44, with the scoreboard at 90/1, the hosts struggled to get back in the game.

Eight wickets fell for just 39 runs as England chased the game in the second half of the innings, with England lacking the power-hitting that took India to their winning total and finishing on 144/9. Man-of-the-match Kunal Phanase finished with two wickets for 12 runs to go with his 36 runs from the first innings.

SCORECARD: https://www.ecb.co.uk/matches/15721

Head coach Ian Salisbury said: "I am so proud of the guys for reaching the final. All I want them to do is be good human beings first and foremost and to improve from where they were last year, and they are way better.

"Today was a success for cricket, not just physical disability cricket. We want this to go worldwide - everyone here has seen sixes hit into the top tiers of stands and out of the ground and the standard has astounded everybody who has seen if for the first time.

"These guys are elite athletes but most of the squad are going back to work on Monday. Some of them are about to start their A Levels, some are about to start university. They've got other lives, they've got families, and the commitment they've shown has been incredible."

England secured their final place by beating Afghanistan in the morning's 2nd v 3rd semi-final by 10 runs. Sussex duo Liam O'Brien and Fred Bridges were the stars - O'Brien scoring an unbeaten 53 from 34 balls and taking two wickets, while Bridges took two for 12 from his four overs.

Physical Disability cricket will be back at New Road on Thursday as England face a Rest of the World XI, featuring players from the other four teams in the tournament - India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh

England's disability squads are also in action later this year, with the Learning Disability team travelling to Australia in October and the Deaf team playing against Pakistan in Dubai.