Top three batsmen made merry at the pitch as Nepal crashed to a big six-wicket defeat against Zimbabwe ‘A’ despite putting on a decent total in their first of three-game Twenty20 Series at the TU International grounds on Sunday.
On the back of gritty knocks from U-19 cricketer Mohammad Aadil Alam and experienced Kushal Bhurtel, Nepal made a challenging 181-5 in 20 overs. But the hosts were blown away when Zimbabwe’s first three batsmen schooled the bowlers with some brutal hittings before the visitors replied with 182-4 in just 18.5 overs.
Innocent Kaia and Tadiwanashe Marumani gave a perfect start to the chase adding 73 runs for the first wicket inside nine overs. Kaia hit nine boundaries in a 30-ball 47 before he was trapped leg before by Nepal skipper Sandeep Lamichhane.
Marumani then went on to share a defining 72-run partnership with captain Tony Munyonga. Marumani’s 41-ball 56 included three sixes and as many boundaries.
Munyonga struck a 23-ball 50 that included seven sixes. Debutant Bashir Ahmad had a positive start to his career for national team returning the figures of 2-22 from 3.5 overs. Dipendra Singh Airee was another economical bowler giving 24 runs in four overs.
Sandeep went for 50 runs in four overs, while Karan KC returned the figures of 1-35 from three overs.
Earlier, Nepal lost Aasif Sheikh (nine) with 27 runs on the board before Kushal and Rohit Kumar Paudel shared 57 runs for the second wicket. Kushal scored a 31-ball 46 with eight hits to the fence. Rohit fell for a 26-ball 36 after sharing 39 runs with Dipendra Singh Airee who made 28 runs from 13 balls.
Aadil continued to impress on his bright beginning for the Nepali senior side top scoring for Nepal with a 27-ball 47 not out. His innings included four boundaries and three sixes.