In a thrilling match at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field in Hangzhou, India defeated Nepal to advance to the semi-finals of the 2023 Asian Games men’s T20I competition. Contrary to what many expected, Nepal gave India a tough fight.
India, after winning the toss, opted to bat first and posted 202/4 in their alloted 20 overs. Openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad stiched a dominating 103-run partnership, with Jaiswal particularly aggressive from the start. Gaikwad contributed 25 runs from 23 balls before being dismissed by DS Airee in the 10th over when the score was 103 runs.
Nepal’s bowlers made a strong comeback during the middle overs, claiming a couple of key wickets. Tilak Varma (2) and Jitesh Sharma (5) were both dismissed cheaply by Sompal Kami and Sandeep Lamichhane, respectively. Jaiswal continued to play aggressively and completed his century in 48 balls, featuring eight fours and seven sixes. However, he was dismissed by Airee immediately after reaching the milestone.
In the death overs, Rinku Singh caused havoc for Nepal by scoring an explosive 37* off 15 balls, including four sixes. Shivam Dube also contributed 25 runs from 19 balls. For Nepal, Dipendra Singh Airee picked up two wickets (4-0-31-2), while Rohit Paudel had the best economy among the bowlers after Airee, conceding 26 runs from three overs. Sandeep Lamichhane and Sompal Kami also took one wicket each.
Turning to Nepal’s innings, Ravi Bishnoi dismissed Kushal Malla (29 runs) and Rohit Paudel (3) in the same over. Dipendra Singh Airee played a brief but impactful innings, smashing three consecutive sixes against Shivam Dube before being dismissed for 32 runs from 15 balls by Bishnoi.
With Nepal needing 75 runs from the final five overs with five wickets in hand, Sundeep Jora was dismissed after a quick 29 off 12 balls, including three sixes. Karan KC contributed an unbeaten 18 runs, but it wasn’t enough to secure a win for Nepal.
For India, Ravi Bishnoi and Avesh Khan were the standout bowlers, each taking three wickets. Arshdeep Singh also claimed three wickets, while Sai Kishore pocketed one.