Kathmandu: Nepal beat Singapore by eight wickets in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier match played at TU International cricket ground on Monday.
Chasing down a target of 146 runs, the Nepali side achieved the target in just 16.3 overs as opener Kushal Bhurtel smashed 74 runs off just 48 balls, striking eight fours and 2 sixes. Likewise, skipper Rohit Paudel scored 35 runs in 24 balls, hitting two fours and two sixes.
Likewise, Aasif Sheikh was dismissed for 27 runs off 26 balls, hitting two fours and one six.
Earlier, Singapore lost their first wicket in the second ball as captain Aritra Dutta was bowled by Karan KC. However, the Singaporean side managed a quick half-century partnership for the third wicket between Rohan Rangarajan and Surendran Chandramohan before Sandeep Lamichhane dismissed the latter.
Nepal’s Gulsan Jha then took two wickets in the eighth over, restricting the visitors to a slow pace. Among the Singaporean players, only four batsmen scored in double figures. Rohan Rangarajan led the charge with 46 runs off 30 balls, including nine fours and one six. Manpreet Singh scored 24 runs off 26 balls with three fours, Aryaveer Chaudhary contributed 37 runs from 26 balls, and Akshay Puri managed 13 runs off 8 balls.
On the other hand, despite conceding 43 runs in four overs, Abinash Bohara of Nepal took three crucial wickets. Additionally, Karan KC, Gulsan Jha, and Sandeep Lamichhane each secured two wickets, contributing to Nepal’s strong performance.
A total of eight teams are contending in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier Final, vying for two coveted spots at next year’s global showpiece in the United States and the West Indies. Nepal has been drawn alongside Singapore, Oman, and Malaysia in Group A, while Group B comprises the UAE, Hong Kong, Bahrain, and Kuwait.
The top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals, from which the two finalists will secure their berths in the 2024 T20 World Cup. Nepal’s sole appearance at a cricket World Cup came during the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh.