Nepal progress into men’s cricket quarters at AsiadPaudel scores a half-century and Bohara takes a six-wicket haul to guide the Rhinos to a 138-run win over the Maldives.
Captain Rohit Paudel scored a half-century and Abinash Bohara took six wickets as Nepal national men’s cricket team defeated the Maldives by 138 runs to advance into the quarter-finals at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China on Sunday.
Opting to bat first after winning the toss, Paudel smashed 52 runs off 27 balls and put on a record 70-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Gulsan Jha, who played 35-21, to guide Nepal to a big total of 212-7 at the Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field.
The partnership between Paudel and Jha is Nepal’s highest for the fifth wicket in T20Is that eclipsed the 61-run stand by Aarif Sheikh and Binod Bhandari during their four-wicket win over Hong Kong in October 2019.
Paudel was run out in the 18.4 overs while Jha was caught by Hussain Saadhin off Tholal Mohamed Raya in the 14.6 overs.
Kushal Malla, who hit the fastest men’s T20I hundred in Nepal’s world records-smashing 273-run win against part-timers Mongolia on Wednesday, was unbeaten on 47 facing 20 deliveries.
Opener Kushal Bhurtel scored 35 runs off 18 balls before he was trapped leg before by Mohamed Miuvaan.
The Maldives’ Nazwan Ismail took three wickets that included the wickets of Aasif Sheikh (6), Binod Bhandari (13) and Sundeep Jora (5).
But it was pacer Bohara who won it for Nepal with his sensational bowling display. Bohara returned the match figures of 3.4-0-11-6 to restrict the Maldives to 74 in 19.4 overs, becoming the first Nepali bowler to take six wickets in a T20I match.
Bohara’s magic started in the sixth over when he removed Fareed Shius (10) and Nazwan in the successive balls before dismissing Tholal Mohamed Raya two balls later to puncture the Maldives’ run-chase.
Bohara then cut off the tail getting rid of Hussain Saadhin (3), Mohamed Muivaan (0) and Naseer Naail Ismail (0) in the last over to give Nepal a comprehensive victory and a place in the last eight from Group A.
Second-placed Maldives and winless Mongolia crashed out.
Hong Kong also progressed into the quarter-finals as Group B winners.
India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan received direct entry into the last eight as top five ranked teams in the ICC T20I rankings as of June 1, 2023.
India are fielding a cricket team at the Asian Games for the first time.
India’s women’s cricket team won the gold medal in their maiden appearance defeating Sri Lanka by 19 runs last week.
The quarter-finals begin on Tuesday.