Nepal, playing their first ever international game against giants India put up a strong fight with the bat to post 230 before bundling out. However they fell way short with the ball as Rohit and Gill completely bossed them, chasing the revised target of 145 (23 overs) with 17 balls to spare.
With the victory, India qualified for the Super Four stage of the tournament, joining Pakistan from the group. The defeat meant Nepal’s campaign came to an end.
Two rain breaks that lasted 1 and 2 hours each, forced the match to be curtailed. After the rain finally stopped India’s target was cut down to 145 but it was supposed to be chased in 23 overs. Without breaking a sweat, Rohit and Gill took India home for a comprehensive 10-wicket win.
As It Happened
Here’s a look at the key moments of the India-Nepal game.
Butterfingers cost India early
After being put in to bat, Nepal openers got off to an impressive start as Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh added 65 runs for the opening wicket. The opening stand for Nepal blossomed courtesy some horrible fielding from the Indians. Three dropped catches from Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli and Ishan Kishan inside the first 5 overs, allowed Bhurtel and Sheikh to build a solid stand as the duo looked to make the most of their good luck. However, all-rounder Shardul Thakur managed to break the stand on the final ball of the first Powerplay, removing Bhurtel for 38(25).
Jadeja, Siraj run through Nepal batting order
After a horrible first powerplay that included poor fielding and below-par effort from the pacers, Ravindra Jadeja brought some relief back into the camp, getting three quick wickets. The left-arm spinner first knocked over Bhim Shark for 7 and then Rohit Sharma took a sharp catch at first slip to get rid of his Nepalese counterpart Rohit Paudel (5) for Jadeja’s second victim. Kushal Malla (2) became Jadeja’s third wicket as Nepal slid to 101 for four in the 22nd over. Aasif and Gulsan Jha tried to arrest the slide but the former after crossing his fifty was removed by Mohammed Siraj for 58. Siraj then removed Gulsan for 16 in the 32nd over as Nepal found themselves reeling at 144 for 6.
Rain break and Sompal-Dipendra stand
Just when it looked India were calling the shots as Nepal were struggling at 144 for 6, Sompal Kami and Dipendra Singh joined hands to put up an impressive 50-run stand for the 7th wicket. The duo kept the India bowlers at bay and managed to rotate the strike pretty well along with the odd boundaries. Rain then paused play for an hour but soon after resumption Hardik dismissed Dipendra (29) breaking the resilient stand. Sompal however hung on and stitched another vital 34-run partnership with Sandeep Lamichhane to take Nepal past the 200-run mark. The all-rounder missed out on a well-deserved fifty and was dismissed by Hardik in the 48th over. A Lamichhane run out and Siraj wrapped up the tail as Nepal folded for 230.
The long rain break
Soon after India kicked off their 231 chase, rain caused another intervention and this time it made everyone wait for a very long time. Just 2.1 overs into the chase, rain came and halted the match for almost 2 hours. At around 8:20 pm IST, rain paused the play as the players waited for resumption. Close to 9:30 pm IST, the rain stopped as the groundsmen put in everything they had to get the field of play ready. With the match cut-off time scheduled for 10:20 pm IST, the umpires inspected the conditions at 10 pm and decided to resume the contest. However, rain forced the game to be curtailed. India were now chasing a revised target of 145 in 23 overs.
Rohit and Gill masterclass
With a target in sight, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill resumed India chase at 17/0 in 2.1 overs. After having a look around for the first few deliveries both the openers took on the attack on the Nepalese bowlers. Up against a weak bowling attack and marred by the failures of the previous match, both Rohit and Gill went hammer and tongs against Nepal. As the ball went to all corners of the park and over, Rohit brought up his 49th ODI half-century off just 37 balls. Gill too followed his skipper soon, raising his half-century off 47 balls. With a total of 14 fours and 6 sixes combined, Rohit and Gill made light work of the chase and crossed the finish line with 17 balls to spare. While Rohit scored an unbeaten 74, Gill finished at 67 not out. With the 10-wicket win, India finished second in Group A and qualified for the Super Fours.