Kathmandu, September 5
India have knocked Nepal out of the Asia Cup in a rain-affected match in Pallekele on Monday.
Asking Nepal to bat first, India did not take advantage of the chances that came their way dropping three catches in the first five overs. Taking advantage of that, Nepali openers, Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh played shots riding their luck at times as they put up a 65-run opening stand.
The rest of the batters, however, could not take advantage of the start. Bhim Sharki, Rohit Paudel and Kushal Malla all threw their wicket away by playing poor shots. Gulshan Jha soon followed them to the pavilion as Nepal had no answer for the spin bowling of Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.
When Sheikh got out for 58 in the 30th over, it looked like Nepal would be bowled out for less than 200. However, a valiant innings from Dipendra Singh Airee and Sompal Kami took the score past 200 and Nepal were bowled out for 230, a major improvement from their last game against Pakistan in Multan.
In reply, India were tested in the first over when Karan KC challenged Rohit Sharma. However, the team were soon shown how far behind they are by Sharma and Shubman Gill who hit the ballers all over the park. The game was shorted due to rain with India needing 145 to win in 23 overs.
That did not affect the Indian batters as they reached their with ease with 17 balls to spare.
With this loss, Nepal’s first participation in the Asia Cup has been a bittersweet one. Even though former international players have heaped praise, the players will leave Sri Lanka with a feeling of what if as they push on to play with the big boys again.