PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka (AP) — India overcame early sloppy fielding and long rain breaks to qualify for the Asia Cup's Super 4 with a 10-wicket victory against newcomer Nepal on Monday after meeting a revised target on the DLS method.
Captain Rohit Sharma, who struggled against Pakistan's pace in the rain-abandoned opening group game, made 74 not out and Shubman Gill also warmed up for the Super 4 with an unbeaten 67 as India reached 147-0 in 20.1 overs. Nepal had been bowled out for 230 but the Indian target was revised to 145 in 23 overs after an almost two-hour rain break.
Pakistan, which thumped Nepal by 238 runs at Multan, also qualified for the Super 4 from the same group.
Sharma and Gill started off the revised target cautiously before playing some big shots against the spinners with legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane conceding 39 off his four overs. Sharma was the more aggressive of the two, hitting five sixes and six fours while Gill also reached his half century with a pulled six in his undefeated half century and also hit eight fours.
India had a lackluster start to its last group game after Sharma won the toss and elected to field under overcast conditions with three catches going down inside the first five overs. Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav took control in the middle overs as Nepal was bowled out in 48.2 overs.
Shubman Gill, who struggled in the first game against Pakistan, struck three boundaries off seamer Sompal Kami before rain took the players off the field with India 17-0 in 2.1 overs.
Earlier, India's fielders had a poor start as Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli and wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan dropped regulation catches off fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj that allowed the opening pair of Kushal Bhurtel (38) and Aasif Sheikh (58) to rack up an opening stand of 65.
One of Bhurtel's two sixes went out of the ground over square leg off Siraj’s short pitched delivery.
Shardul Thakur broke the stand in the last over of the batting powerplay when he found the outside edge of Bhurtel before Aasif took charge despite Jadeja picking up 3-40 that pushed back Nepal to 101-4 in the 22nd over.
Kohli had dropped Aasif at short extra covers early on and the batter also successfully reversed an onfield lbw decision against him off Yadav before raising his half century off 88 balls. Kohli finally caught Aasif when Siraj found a leading edge in the 30th over and followed it with the wicket of Gulshan Jha before rain arrived and stopped play for an hour.
Hardik Pandya and Siraj then bowled well in the latter half of the innings after play resumed but Nepal’s No. 8 Kami made a well composed 48 off 56 balls that featured two sixes and a boundary before Siraj wrapped up the innings and returned with figures of 3-61.
Shami, who was included in the playing XI because Jasprit Bumrah flew back home for the birth of his first child, took 1-29.
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