December 3, 2019 12:56 PM NPT
By: Rajan Shah
Photo: Rajan Shah/ Republica
KATHMANDU, Dec 3 Dipendra Singh Airee’s career-best unbeaten 72 runs in international T20 has led Nepal to a total of 172 runs in 20 overs against Sri Lanka U-23.
Sri Lanka U-23s had won the toss and invited Nepal to bat first in the opening cricket match of 13th South Asian Games (SAG) held at TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur on Tuesday.
Nepal left out KushalBhurtel, who made his debut in Bangladesh during the ACC Emerging Teams Cup, RohitPaudel, who replaced unwell Sandeep Lamichhane, Sandeep Jora and a new face in the squad Rashid Khan.
Nepal lost Paras Khadka early. The former captain scored a run opening the batting being dismissed in the second over of the match. He faced five deliveries. KaviskaAnjula struck in his first over of the match as wicket-keeper NishanMadushka completed the low diving catch on his right. New batsman Aarif Sheikh started his innings with a six. He registered his second six of the match in the fifth over of the innings against the left-arm spine of DuvinduTillakratne. However, Sheikh was soon dismissed for 19 runs off 15 deliveries off Sri Lankan captain KaminduMendis’ first delivery of the match in the next over.
Malla played a steady hand at an end scoring 21 runs off 20 deliveries before losing his stumps trying to attempt a sweep shot. Tillakratne who changed his end from Chobar to Pavilion registered his first wicket of the match.
Dipendra Singh Airee brought up the 50 runs partnership in a style with a six over midwicket against Mendis. He was aided by the resistance of Binod Bhandari at the other end playing a run-a-ball innings before getting bowled out by Mendis in same over. Bhandari scored 23-ball 21 runs.
Airee went up to notch up his fifty and top score for Nepal with unbeaten 72 runs off 44 deliveries which included four boundaries and three sixes. The vice-captain played some glorious shots on the offside, straight and square. He shared a partnership of 56 runs with Bhandari and 62 runs with PawanSarraf. The off-spinning allrounderSarraf chipped in with a cameo of 13-ball 22 runs which included two fours and a six.
Sri Lankan pace bowling duo of Fernando and Anjula shared a wicket each.
Fans are attending the match in numbers at the TU cricket ground.