• Sunday, July 21, 2024

Asia Cup 2023

India thrash Nepal to reach Super Fours

The 50-over tournament has been affected by rain, forcing organisers to discuss a venue change for upcoming matches in Colombo

Rohit Sharma captain of India bats during the Asia Cup Group A match between India and Nepal at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on September 4, 2023 in Kandy, Sri Lanka. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

By: easterneye.biz Staff

SKIPPER Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill remained unbeaten as India hammered Nepal by 10 wickets in a rain-hit match to reach the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup on Monday (4).

Chasing a DLS revised target of 145 in 23 overs after a rain interruption, India eased home with 17 balls to spare in Pallekele.

Rohit finished 74 not out and Gill was unbeaten on 67.

Nepal were bowled out for 230 after Aasif Sheikh top-scored with 58.

The 50-over tournament, a tune-up for the upcoming ODI World Cup in India, has been affected by rain, forcing organisers to discuss a venue change for upcoming matches in Colombo.

India’s opening match against Pakistan, who were the first team to move into the next round, was abandoned after just one innings.

In their second outing, India were 17-0 in 2.1 overs when heavy rain forced the players off the ground and the field was totally covered.

Ground staff worked tirelessly to make the ground ready for play again.

Rohit and Gill came out roaring and hit a string of boundaries to reach their respective half-centuries and race to the target. Rohit smashed five sixes in his 59-ball knock.

“We can’t really look too much into these two games, one was washed out, but luckily we got to bat in the first game and bowl in this one,” man of the match Rohit said.

“We haven’t been at our best, but a few guys are coming out after months out of the game. Once we move ahead in the Super Fours, there’s no room for complacency.”

‘Proud of them’

Nepal, who are still finding their feet in international cricket and got ODI status in 2018, impressed with the bat as Sheikh’s fifty helped the team to a respectable total.

Nepal lost their way after a strong start by Sheikh and Kushal Bhurtel (38) but the middle and lower-order fought back.

Number eight Sompal Kami smashed 48 before the innings ended after 48.2 overs. Spinner Ravindra Jadeja and fast bowler Mohammed Siraj took three wickets each for India.

“Our openers did a very good job for us. In the middle order we could have done better. We were maybe 30-40 short,” Nepal skipper Rohit Paudel said.

“In the last 4-5 months our lower order has done a great job, we are very proud of them.”

Rohit won the toss and elected to field first, but Bhurtel and Sheikh made quick runs with help from the Indian fielders, who dropped three catches in the first five overs.

Shreyas Iyer dropped a regulation chance at slip, Virat Kohli spilled a sitter at short cover and wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan let the ball through his gloves.

Bhurtel smashed Siraj for a four and a huge six from successive balls to keep up the charge and raise the noise among a group of Nepal fans at a largely empty ground.

He smashed another six off Shardul Thakur, but fell caught behind to the next delivery.

Siraj sent back Sheikh soon after his fifty to dent the Nepal batting further, but after a rain delay Dipendra Singh Airee, who hit 29, and Kami put on 50 runs for the seventh wicket to frustrate the opposition bowlers.


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