Asia Cup, 2023 |Match 5 |9/4/2023 Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy
That is it then from this game and now three teams have made it through to the Super 4s stage of the competition. With one spot remaining, Sri Lanka takes on Afghanistan in the final game of the initial stage in Group B. Afghanistan need to win to have a shot at making it through whereas Sri Lanka will be eyeing to consolidate the top spot in their group. That game will be played on September 5 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore and will begin at 3 pm IST (9.30 am GMT). Our build-up though will begin much sooner. Cheers!
India's skipper, Rohit Sharma is the PLAYER OF THE MATCH for his brilliant knock. He says that, to be honest, there were nerves to start with but is glad to have stayed on and found his form. Adds that the flick he played was meant to go someplace else but the timing was much better than he thought. On India's team selection for the World Cup, he says that they knew the Asia Cup wouldn't give them the whole picture of what the team would look like for the mega event and adds that they didn't play their best cricket in these two games but the guys are starting to come good and they need to keep ticking all boxes. Mentions that they did well to recover with the bat in the last game and the bowling was decent in this game but the fielding and catching certainly need to improve.
The Presentation ceremony...
Nepal's skipper Rohit Paudel says that the openers did a very good job for them. Adds that the middle order could have done better. Reckons that they were 30–40 runs short. Feels that had the middle order done well, they could have scored 260–270. Mentions that their lower order has done a great job in the last few months. States that it was hard to bowl in these conditions but feels that the bowlers did well.
Shubman Gill is in for a chat. He says that he definitely enjoyed the knock. Adds that it was disappointing the way he got out against Pakistan and wanted to finish the game here. Mentions that Rohit Sharma is the kind of player who wants to take on the bowlers aerially while he wants to go for the boundaries and that works well for them. Reckons that Nepal bowled very well with the new ball. Shares that they knew it would be easier to bat, once the ball got wet in the outfield.
Nepal are out of the Asia Cup but they will take a lot of positives from this game. After a tentative start with the bat, the opening pair of Aasif Sheikh and Kushal Bhurtel started attacking with the latter finding the fence with ease. Right at the end of the first Powerplay, Bhurtel fell and that triggered a mini-collapse. Sheikh though remained resolute and along with Gulsan Jha stitched a steady stand notching up a half-century in the process as well. It was then another solid stand between Dipendra Singh Airee and Sompal Kami that took Nepal to well over the 200-run mark. With the ball, Karan KC started brilliantly and troubled the Indian skipper in the first over but that was the best it got as they were put to the sword once play resumed after the rain break.
INDIA ARE THROUGH TO THE SUPER FOURS! Finally, we got a game in and we got a result as well. India have made short work of the revised target set by Nepal and have cruised into the Super 4s. But it wasn't all light work with all the rain around and the grit shown by the Nepal batters in the first half of the game. India dropped 3 catches very early and then it was Ravindra Jadeja who bailed them out with some quick wickets and ended up with three in total. The pacers were a bit too short for the most part but did get the job done in the latter part as Mohammed Siraj too picked up three wickets. Coming to the chase, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill had to wait a long time due to the rain but once play resumed both were aggressive and just ripped apart the Nepal bowlers to clinch a brilliant 10-wicket win.
Gulsan Jha to Shubman Gill, FOUR! THAT'S IT! Jha drifts on the pads, on a full length, Shubman Gill gets inside the line and helps it past short fine leg for a boundary. India win by 10 wickets and they are through to the Super Four!
END OF OVER 20 | 3 Runs & 0 Wkt | IND 143/0
Kushal Malla to Rohit Sharma, Almost on a yorker length, near the tramline on off, Rohit Sharma digs it out to short third man. Two runs required for India to proceed to the Super Four.
Kushal Malla to Rohit Sharma, Flighted again, on off, Rohit Sharma pushes it off the front foot to extra cover.
Kushal Malla to Shubman Gill, Serves it slower this time and offers flight as well, on middle, Shubman Gill plants his foot forward and knocks it to long on for one more run.
Kushal Malla to Shubman Gill, Bowls a low full toss, at the stumps, driven straight to extra cover.
Kushal Malla to Rohit Sharma, Tossed up again, outside off, Rohit Sharma presses forward and whips it down to long on for a single.
Kushal Malla to Shubman Gill, Loopy delivery, fullish in length, Shubman Gill jams it out to extra cover. A fumble there allows the batters to sneak in a single.
END OF OVER 19 | 7 Runs & 0 Wkt | IND 140/0
Gulsan Jha to Rohit Sharma, FOUR! Absolutely thrashed! Jha offers width this time, outside off, short as well, Rohit Sharma allows the ball to come to him and latches onto the cut shot. Hits it past the diving fielder and picks up a boundary.
Gulsan Jha to Rohit Sharma, Angling in, on a good length, on the off stump line, Rohit Sharma gets cramped for room but still manages to punch it to backward point. He wants a single but Shubman Gill says no and rightfully so.
Gulsan Jha to Rohit Sharma, Sharp delivery! Into the wicket, in the channel on off, Rohit Sharma gets on his toes to dab it on the off side. The ball rises and beats Rohit on the outside edge.
Gulsan Jha to Shubman Gill, Another one on a back of a length, Shubman Gill brings out the short-arm punch and hits it to deep cover for one.
Gulsan Jha to Shubman Gill, At 129 kph, back of a length, outside off, Shubman Gill hops and cuts well, only to find the point fielder.
Gulsan Jha to Shubman Gill, A full delivery and straying on the pads, Shubman Gill clips it sweetly. Gets it to the right of long on for a couple of runs.
END OF OVER 18 | 3 Runs & 0 Wkt | IND 133/0
Kushal Malla to Rohit Sharma, Pushed through quicker, at the stumps, Rohit Sharma stays leg side of the ball and pushes it back to the bowler.
Kushal Malla to Shubman Gill, Continues to bowl short, outside off, Shubman Gill knocks it off the back foot to long off and picks up a single.