Asia Cup: Nepal manage to post 230 in historic match against India

Pallekele, Sep 4 (UNI) Facing India for the very first time in their cricketing history, the cricketing minnows managed to post a fighting total of 230 in the 5th match of Asia Cup at Pallekele Cricket Stadium here on Monday.

Nepal’s opening pair got off to an impressive start, reaching 65/0 in just 9.4 overs. But, they capitalised on three drop catches by India in the first 5 overs, with Kushal Bhurtel playing a pivotal role with a blistering cameo of 38 runs from just 25 balls.

Shreyas Iyer dropped a sharp chance at first slip while Virat Kohli, at cover, and wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan spilled sitters.

Khushal Bhurtel got going first announcing his intent with a sensational pull off Mohammad Siraj that cleared the stands beyond the boundary comfortably. He capitalised whenever the pacers erred in length, hitting 38 off just 25 balls before he fell in the same vein.

However, the tables turned as the Nepali middle-order faced a formidable challenge from the Indian spinners.

The team lost wickets at regular intervals, and by the 29.5-over mark, they found themselves at 132/5, managing to score just 67 runs in 20.1 overs, for the loss of 5 wickets, since their strong powerplay performance.

Gulsan Jha contributed some valuable runs during his stay at the crease, and Dipendra Singh Airee played an aggressive cameo, forming a crucial 50-run partnership with Sompal Kami.

Kami played a vital role, scoring 48 runs off 56 balls, narrowly missing out on a well-deserved fifty by just 2 runs.

The Indian seamers performed admirably to dismiss the Nepali team before the completion of 50 overs. Despite their struggles, Nepal concluded their innings with a competitive total of 230 runs.

In the bowling department, Ravindra Jadeja emerged as the star performer for India, picking up 3 crucial wickets. This impressive performance elevated his Asia Cup ODI wicket tally to 22, putting him at the top of the list alongside Irfan Pathan for India in this prestigious tournament. However, Mohammed Siraj also managed to take 3 wickets, although he conceded runs at a relatively high economy rate.

As the match progressed to the second innings, all eyes were on how India would approach the chase of the 231-run target on a pitch that had been slightly affected by rain. The stage was set for an exciting and closely contested match, with fans eagerly anticipating India’s response to Nepal’s competitive total.

Brief Scores:

Nepal 230 all out (Aasif Sheikh 58, Sompal Kamo 48; Ravindra Jadeja 3-40, Mohammad Siraj 3-61).

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