Hangzhou: India made a strong start to their Asian Games campaign with a convincing 23-run victory over Nepal in the quarterfinals. Yashasvi Jaiswal played a pivotal role in India’s success, smashing a blistering century, while the bowlers put in a collective effort to secure the win.
In their pursuit of 202 runs, Nepal lost their first wicket early in the fourth over, with Aasif Sheikh falling for 10 to Avesh Khan. Despite their best efforts to stabilize the innings, Nepal continued to lose wickets, including Kushal Bhurtel (28) and Kushal Malla (29), both falling in the 11th over to Ravi Bishnoi.
Nepal briefly rallied in the 14th over when Dipendra Singh Airee struck three consecutive sixes, but his dismissal at 32 in the 15th over, courtesy of Ravi Bishnoi, put them back on the back foot. Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh took crucial wickets in the 17th and 18th overs, and Sandeep Lamichhane was the final wicket to fall as Nepal fell short of the target, ending at 179/9.
Earlier, India opted to bat first, and their openers, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad, got off to a flying start, reaching the 50-run mark in just four overs. Jaiswal was particularly explosive, reaching his half-century in just 22 balls in the 7th over with a six. Ruturaj Gaikwad contributed with 25 runs but was dismissed in the 10th over.
Nepal managed to pick up another wicket in the 12th over when Tilak Varma was dismissed by Sompal Kami. However, Jaiswal continued to dominate, reaching his century in the 16th over, scoring it in just 48 balls. His innings finally ended when he failed to clear a full toss from Airee, and Bohara caught him.
In the end, Rinku Singh’s power hitting in the last over pushed India to a formidable total of 202/4.