Pallekele (Sri Lanka) | Blistering batting display from Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma helped India defeat Nepal by 10 wickets via the DLS method in a rain-curtailed match in the Asia Cup 2023 here at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Nepal scored 230 but the target was reduced to 145 runs to be chased in 23 overs. Nepal showed immense promise and tons of resolve in their first international game against India in the Asia Cup fixture on Monday in Kandy.
With this, India has secured a total of three points in their two group-stage matches and advanced to the Super 4 stage. India will face arch-rival Pakistan in their Super Four match on Sunday.
Chasing a target of 131, India were at 17/0 in 3.1 overs with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill standing unbeaten at the crease against Nepal when covers were brought back as the rain halted the play.
The rain gods relented, and play was resumed after much delay. India's chase was reduced to 23 overs with a revised target of 145.
Rohit was decisive in his approach and made the Nepal bowlers toil hard making merry of the excellent conditions on offer. On the other end, Shubman Gill took his time to settle on the pitch. Rohit unfurled a variety of shots as he grew in confidence while Gill continued to milk the bowlers for runs as the partnership grew in stature.
After 10 overs, India reached 64-0 with Gill and Rohit unbeaten at the crease. India captain Rohit also brought up his half-century with a stylish four in 39 deliveries. The opener stitched up a solid 100-run partnership.
Another half-century for Shubman Gill as India kept piling runs as they moved towards their target.
With a stylish four in the 21st over Gill took India home with a 10 wickets victory over Nepal.
Earlier, a half-century by Aasif Sheikh and solid knocks from Kushal Bhurtel and Sompal Kami helped Nepal post 230 runs in 48.1 overs against India.
After being put to bat first by India, Nepal was off to a solid start. Openers Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh made the most of dropped catches by India to form a solid opening partnership.
With a four by Aasif against Hardik Pandya, Nepal reached their fifty in 8.5 overs.
Just before the end of the powerplay, Shardul Thakur's golden arm struck for India, dismissing Bhurtel for 38 off 25 balls, consisting of three fours and two sixes. Nepal was 65/1 in 9.5 overs.
At the end of the powerplay, Nepal was at 65/1, with Sheikh (23*) joined by Bhim Sharki (0*).
The duo carried in with the innings but Indian spinners dried the run-flow for the next six overs or so. The pressure made on Nepal batters paid off as Sarki tried to cut a tricky Ravindra Jadeja delivery, but was clean bowled for seven off 17 balls. Nepal was 77/2 in 16 overs.
Skipper Rohit Paudel joined Sheikh at the crease. But this partnership also did not last very long either. Paudel was caught by skipper Rohit Sharma at slips for just five. Jadeja got his second wicket. Nepal was 93/3 in 20 overs.
Nepal touched the 100-run mark in 21.3 overs.
Jadeja got his third wicket, levelling with Irfan Pathan (22 scalps) for most wickets by an India bowler in the ODI Asia Cup. He dismissed Kushal Malla for just two. Nepal was 101/4 in 21.5 overs.
Sheikh and Gulshan Jha carried on the innings. Sheikh brought up his fifty, first against India in 88 balls.
Pacer Mohammed Siraj earned his first wicket, dismissing Sheikh for 58 off 97 balls, consisting of eight fours after being caught by Virat. Nepal was 132/5 in 29.5 overs.
Siraj got another wicket, dismissing Gulshan for 23 off 35 balls after he was caught behind by Ishan Kishan. Nepal was 144/6 in 31.5 overs.
Nepal reached the 150-run mark in 33.4 overs. Dipendra Singh Airee and Sompal Kami helped Nepal rebuild their innings after some quick wickets. The duo formed their fifty-run stand in 55 balls.
Hardik Pandya trapped lbw Dipendra Singh Airee for 29 off 25 balls, consisting of three fours. The fifty-run partnership was over and Nepal was 194/7 in 41.1 overs.
Nepal reached the 200-run mark in 43.4 overs. After Sompal and Airee gave India some headache with their persistence and big hits, Sompal was dismissed by Mohammed Shami after a brilliant diving catch from Ishan. The batter made 48 in 56 balls, with one four and two sixes. Nepal was 228/8 in 47.2 overs.
Lamicchane was the next one to go, run out by Axar Patel and Ishan for nine. Nepal was 229/9 in 47.4 overs.
Nepal's innings folded at 230 in 48.1 overs, with Siraj taking the final wicket, cleaning up Lalit Rajbanshi for zero. India bundled out Nepal for 230 in 48.1 overs.
Jadeja (3/40) and Siraj (3/61) were the pick of the bowlers for India. Thakur, Shami and Pandya got a wicket each.
Brief Scores: Nepal: 230 in 48.1 overs (Aasif Sheikh 58, Sompal Kami 48, Ravindra Jadeja 3/40) vs India 147/0 (Rohit Sharma 74*, Shubman Gill 67*; Kushal Malla 0-11).