One of sport's most enduring rivalries was played out at the weekend, but with a twist as India faced Pakistan in the final of Red Bull Campus Cricket 2013.
The T20 tournament, which started late last year in 100 campuses across six countries culminated in a five-day finals competition held at Colombo’s R. Premadasa Stadium in Sri Lanka that saw teams from Australia, Bangladesh, Great Britain, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka cross swords.
Following a keenly contested group stage in which no team remained unbeaten it was Sri Lanka, Great Britain, India and Pakistan that made the last four and perhaps fittingly it was the latter two nations that went on to contest the final.
In the championship match, India were rocked early on by some good bowling by Meer Hamza and Nabeel Khalid. But, with a captain’s innings from skipper Kunal Mahajan of 73 runs, India put on 170/8 in their 20 overs. In reply, Pakistan struggled to get off the ground and were bowled out for just 121, with Gurinder Singh taking four wickets to destroy Pakistan’s innings and any chances of winning the tournament.
In addition to walking away with the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals title, the India team have won the right to host a series later in 2013 against an All Stars team comprised of the most outstanding players from the other five nations in the tournament.
The All Stars side that will face the champions is: Faraz Ali, Ammar Hasan, Nabeel Khalid, Shahzaib Khan and Rameez Aziz from Pakistan; Sahan Perera, Randika Perera, Rumesh Madushanka and Gagith Abeysekara from Sri Lanka; Tanmoy Roy, Bin Murtaza, Anjum Ahmed and Hassen Huzzam from Bangladesh; Thomas Atallah, James McNeil and Brandon McLean from Australia; Luke Blackaby, James Lomas and Robert Woolley from Great Britain.