The Indian cricket team attained its first target at the Asia Cup 2023 on Monday – that is to qualify for the Super 4 stage. After its first game against Pakistan got washed out due to rain, India needed a solid win against Nepal to boost their confidence. Though they won by 10 wickets, India have a lot of points to ponder upon. India captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field first, but Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh got quick runs with help from the Indian fielders, who dropped three catches in the first five overs. Shreyas Iyer dropped a regulation catch at slip, Virat Kohli spilled a sitter at short cover and wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan let the ball through his gloves.
Later, Indian cricket team members praised the Nepal cricketers. Virat Kohli had some special words of encouragement for Aasif Sheikh, who scored a half-century. Then he broke into a laughter with Suryakumar Yadav. The video of the occasion was posted by Cricket Nepal, but the audio was not fully clear.
— Bipin Sapkota (@bipinsapkota213) September 5, 2023
Skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill remained unbeaten as India hammered cricketing minnows Nepal by 10 wickets in a rain-hit match to enter the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup on Monday. Chasing a DLS (Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method) revised target of 145 in 23 overs after a rain interruption, India reached home with 17 balls to spare in Pallekele.
Rohit, on 74, and Gill, on 67, stood strong. Nepal were bowled out for 230 after Aasif Sheikh top-scored with 58.
The 50-over tournament is seen as a tune-up for the upcoming ODI World Cup in India but rain has played spoilsport, 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 players out of the ground and the field 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.
Nepal, who are still finding their feet in international cricket and got ODI status in 2018, put up an impressive show after 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 in 48.2 overs. Spinner Ravindra Jadeja and fast bowler Mohammed Siraj took three wickets each.
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