Cricnepal/Kathmandu – India U-23 comprehensively thrashes Nepal by 84 runs in the group A match of ongoing Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Cup at the Padang, Singapore today.
Put into bat, India U-23 rode on three half centuries by openers Lokesh Rahul (88), Unmukt Chand (61) and skipper Suryakumar Yadav, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, to post a challenging 268 for 5 in their stipulated 50 overs.
India U-23 side then returned to restrict the Nepal team for just 184 for eight, courtesy some good bowling by Ankit Bawne (3/36), Jasprit Bumrah (2/35) and Sandeep Warrier (2/7) at The Padang here.
Chasing 269 to win, Nepal batsmen found the going tough as India opened their bowling with left-arm spinner Akshar Patel and pacer Sandeep Sharma. The duo dried up the runs for the Nepal batsmen by restricting their movement.
Skipper Yadav and Menaria then took over the responsibility and continued the good work of keeping Nepal batsmen on a tight leash. Yadav was the first to make a breakthrough when he had Anil Mandal (19) caught and bowled in the 18th over.
Bumrah was then introduced into the attack and the right-arm medium pacer struck with his first delivery, trapping Subash Khakurel (29) in front of wicket with his angled delivery as Nepal u-23 slipped to 49 for two.
Yadav took himself and Bumrah off the attack and introduced Bawne and Sandeep Warrier into the attack and his decision bore results as the 22-year-old from Kerela claimed Paras Khadka’s wicket in his first over.
Bawne and Warrier took two wickets each in their first spell of four and three overs respectively to reduce Nepal U-23 to 88 for 6 in 32 overs.
Nepal U-23 could not put any resistance and kept loosing wickets at regular intervals. Number 9 batsman Sagar Pun then blasted an unbeaten 61-ball 52 with the help of seven fours but he ran out of partners in the end.
Earlier, a brilliant 118-run opening partnership between Rahul and Chand set the foundation for a big score by India U-23 side.
Rahul blasted eight fours and two sixes in his 123-ball innings, while Chand had four fours and three sixes to show in his 77-ball knock.
Once Chand was dismissed by Shakti Gauchan in the 28th over, Rahul and first down Manprit Juneja (9) took the team to 160 in 37th over.
But Basant Regmi struck twice in three balls to removed Rahul and Juneja as India U-23s slipped to 161 for 3 in 36.5 overs. From then on, Yadav and Bawne took the reins and shared a 90-run partnership in 71 balls to take India U-23s across the 250-mark.