In a display of sheer cricketing brilliance, India surged to victory against Nepal, clinching a convincing 10-wicket win that secured their spot in the Asia Cup Super Four. The scintillating performance by Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill left no room for doubt in their Group A encounter on a rain-interrupted Monday.
Nepal, after being asked to bat first, put up a commendable total of 230 on the scoreboard, despite the frequent interruptions from the rain.
With a target of 145 from 23 overs, as per the DLS (Duckworth-Lewis-Stern) method, India’s response was nothing short of spectacular. Rohit Sharma (74 not out off 59 balls) and Shubman Gill (67 not out off 62 balls) orchestrated a breathtaking chase, leaving Nepal in their wake.
With this triumph, India concluded their Group A campaign with three valuable points, a feat already achieved by Pakistan.
While Nepal may have left the Asia Cup without adding any points to their tally, their performance held several standout moments. Nepal’s pace bowlers, K.C. Karan and Sompal Kami, posed a considerable challenge for Indian openers Rohit and Gill. Karan tested Rohit’s defenses early on, with one instance even leading to a DRS review.
Gill, on the other hand, displayed his innate timing with three exquisite boundary shots, quickly recovering from an early stumble. Despite initial hiccups, Rohit and Gill soon found their groove after a rain break, unleashing a barrage of exquisite shots. Nepal’s bowlers struggled to regain control once the Indian duo shifted gears.
However, India’s performance with the ball and in the field raised concerns. Fielding errors, including three dropped catches within the first five overs, marred their performance. Despite this, Nepal’s determined batsmen gave India a run for their money.
Aasif Sheikh (58 off 97 balls), Kushal Bhurtel (38 off 25 balls), and Kami (48 off 55 balls) delivered impressive performances and tested the Indian attack.
Notably, Nepal, who were bundled out for just 104 by Pakistan in their opening match, started strongly, reaching 65 for 1 in the initial 10 overs. Bhurtel played a pivotal role in their early charge against India.
India, however, faced the consequences of missed opportunities, especially two reprieves they granted Bhurtel early in his innings. Shreyas Iyer dropped him on 1, and Ishan Kishan missed a catch behind the stumps when Bhurtel was on 7.
Yet, Thakur provided India with their first breakthrough, dismissing Bhurtel, and Ravindra Jadeja’s spin wizardry further dented Nepal’s progress.
Sheikh displayed resilience and continued to anchor the innings, but Kuldeep Yadav was expected to pose a significant threat. Nonetheless, Sheikh handled Kuldeep’s variations adeptly.