Skipper Suryakumar Yadav contributed with bat and ball as the Indian under-23 team beat Nepal by 84 runs in a Group ‘A’ match of the Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore on Tuesday.
Put in to bat, India rode on three half centuries by openers Lokesh Rahul (88), Unmukt Chand (61) and skipper Suryakumar Yadav, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, to post a challenging 268 for five in their stipulated 50 overs.
They then restricted Nepal to 184 for 8, courtesy some good bowling by Ankit Bawne (3-36), Jasprit Bumrah (2-35) and Sandeep Warrier (2-7) at The Padang.
Chasing 269 for victory, the Nepal batsmen found the going tough as India opened their bowling with left-arm spinner Akshar Patel and pacer Sandeep Sharma. The duo dried up the runs by restricting the batsmen’s movement.
Skipper Yadav and Menaria then took over the responsibility and continued the good work of keeping Nepal on a tight leash. Yadav effected the breakthrough when he had Anil Mandal (19) caught and bowled in the 18th over.
Bumrah was then introduced into the attack and the right-arm medium pacer struck with his first delivery, trapping Subash Khakurel (29) in front of wicket with his angled delivery as Nepal slipped to 49 for two.
Yadav took himself and Bumrah off and introduced Bawne and Sandeep Warrier into the attack. His decision bore results as the 22-year-old from Kerala claimed Paras Khadka's wicket in his first over.
Bawne and Warrier took two wickets each in their first spell of four and three overs respectively to reduce Nepal to 88 for six in 32 overs.
Nepal kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Number 9 batsman Sagar Pun then blasted an unbeaten 61-ball 52, with the help of seven fours, but he ran out of partners in the end.
Earlier, a brilliant 118-run opening partnership between Rahul and Chand set the foundation for India’s big total.
Rahul blasted eight fours and two sixes in his 123-ball innings, while Chand had four fours and three sixes to show in his 77-ball knock.
Once Chand was dismissed by Shakti Gauchan in the 28th over, Rahul and one-down Manprit Juneja (9) took the team to 160 in 37th over.
But Basant Regmi struck twice in three balls to remove Rahul and Juneja as India slipped to 161-3 in 36.5 overs.
From then, Yadav and Bawne took upon the reins and shared a 90-run partnership in 71 balls as India crossed the 250-mark.
Image: File picture of Suryakumar Yadav celebrating during the tour match between Mumbai 'A' and England at the D Y Patil stadium, Mumbai, on November 3, 2012.
Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images