India becomes the second team from Group A, following Pakistan, to advance to the final four.
Despite dropped catches and a sloppy fielding performance, India managed to secure a victory in a rain-affected match against Nepal, earning a spot in the Super 4 of the Asia Cup 2023. They become the second team from Group A, following Pakistan, to advance to the final four.
India won the toss and chose to field, later needing to chase 145 runs in 23 overs after a nearly two-hour rain delay in Pallekele. Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma gave India a quick start, amassing 17/0 in 2.1 overs before the rain interruption. However, post the DLS, they continued to hammer and even reached their respective fifties. While the captain finished with 74 runs off 59 balls, Gill scored 67 off 62 balls.
Nepal, after being asked to bat first, displayed resilience as they posted a total of 230 before running out of wickets. India's fielding woes were compounded by numerous dropped catches in the first five overs of the game and gave Nepal opportunities to capitalize. In addition to the missed catches, India also squandered several straightforward fielding chances, raising concerns about potential repercussions for Rohit and his team later in the tournament.
Nepal openers Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh contributed 65 runs for the opening partnership before Shardul Thakur dismissed Bhurtel for 38(25). Shortly after his departure, Ravindra Jadeja made an impact, leading India's fightback with three wickets, while Mohammed Siraj also contributed with three wickets.
Aasif emerged as Nepal's standout batsman, becoming the first from his country to score a half-century against India, tallying 58(97) before being dismissed by Siraj in the 30th over. Sompal Kami displayed good intent, adding 48(56) to Nepal's total before falling to Mohammad Shami in the 47th over.
Pakistan had already secured a place in the Super 4 with 3 points, while India with 3 points also sits in the second position. Debutants Nepal could not secure any points but surely managed to put on a fighting clash against both higher-ranked teams.