Ashan punishes Nepal after abysmal fielding efforts
December 3, 2019 02:26 PM NPT
By: Rajan Shah
KATHMANDU, Dec 3: Nepal’s abysmal fielding efforts failed to defend 172 runs during the first match of the 13th South Asian Games at TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur on Tuesday.
Sri Lankan Shammu Ashan made most of the chances scoring an unbeaten 72 runs to nullify Dipendra Singh Airee’s brilliance in the first innings. Three drop catches and plenty of misfields cost Nepal the match.
Prathum Nissan kahad made a ballistic start for Sri Lanka scoring 12-ball 30 runs which included three fours and two sixes before getting dismissed by Sompal Kami. Pawan Sarraf then outfoxed KaminduMendis for a runoff two deliveries. He was brilliantly stumped by wicket-keeper Binod Bhandari.
Left-arm spinner SushanBhari provided the third breakthrough for Nepal. Sri Lanka captain CharithAsalanka was held out at deep mid-wicket area comfortably caught by Karan KC patrolling the area. Sri Lanka scored 51 runs in the powerplay for the loss of three wickets.
Sarraf dropped an easy chance at long-off to give NishanMadushka a lifeline in the 11th over. LalitRajbanshi was the unlucky Nepali bowler. Similarly, Kami dropped Shammu Ahsan at backward-point off AvinashBohara to pile up the misery for Nepal. Ashan was on 27 runs as he responded with a four and a six in the next two deliveries. Both the batsmen kept nudging singles and odd boundaries.Ashan completed his half-century in 34 deliveries which included four boundaries and two sixes.
Sarraf made a late inroad in the match dismissing Fernando who was batting on 46 runs off 42 deliveries which included five boundaries and a six. He was caught at deep mid-wicket boundary by Airee. Ashan kept his barrage of sixes going on at the other end smacking two more maximums after completing the half-century. The batsman was again dropped on 64 runs by Kami once again at deep-cover boundary. Ashan replied with a six over long-off in the next delivery.
Nepal needed to defend 15 runs in last two overs. Bhandari let through a slower ball from Karan KC for four bye runs in the penultimate over of the match. Nepal’s poor day on the field continued. Ashen Bandara followed up with a six over long-off region to almost seal the match for Sri Lanka. Nepal captain Malla rounded up Nepal’s abysmal day on the field by letting a four through his hands in the first ball of the last over.
Nepal lost the match by six wickets. Ashan stayed unbeaten on 72 runs off 44 deliveries including four boundaries and five sixes.
Earlier, Dipendra Singh Airee’s career-best unbeaten 72 runs in international T20 leads 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 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 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 attended the match in numbers at the TU cricket ground.