After sharing spoils with Pakistan last week, Team India finally opened their account in the ongoing Asia Cup. The Rohit Sharma-led unit defeated tournament debutant Nepal by 10 wickets via the DLS method in Pallekele on Monday. The match witnessed a rain delay of almost two hours, forcing the umpires to curtail the 50-over contest to 23 overs during India's chase.
The development took place after India bundled out Nepal for 230 in 48.2 overs, following which Rohit and Shubman Gill gave India a brisk start, adding 17 runs in 2.1 overs. It was then that rain started pouring, delaying the proceedings. The pair of Gill and Rohit, however, maintained the tempo despite a long interval and eventually chased down the revised 145-run target in 20.1 overs, as India advanced to the Super 4 stage.
However, the match also gave India a hard reality check as most of the players appeared undercooked during the course of Nepal's innings. Winning the toss and inviting Nepal to bat, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, and Ishan Kishan dropped straightforward catches in the first five overs, which allowed the Nepal opening pair Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh to capitalise.
Together the pair added 65 runs in the first powerplay before Shardul Thakur provided India with the first breakthrough by removing Bhurtel for 38(25). The breakthrough allowed India to come back but the sloppiness in the field continued to hurt India.
"We can't really look too much into these two games, one was washed out, but luckily we got to bat in the first game and bowl in this one. We haven't been at our best, but a few guys are coming out after months out of the game. Once we move ahead in the Super Fours, there's no room for complacency. First game, under pressure, Hardik and Ishan got us into a good position. Today our bowling was okay, but fielding was bad," noted Rohit at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Rohit also spoke on his unbeaten, match-winning knock of 74(59), admitting he was a bit nervy but didn't take long to equalise.“To start with, there were some nerves, but once I got my eye in, I wanted to cash in and get my team home,” said Rohit.Meanwhile, Nepal will be extremely proud of how the team fared against ranked no. 1 side Pakistan and heavyweights India. They also take away a lot of learnings and experience from these two matches.