India’s fielders were tested by the Nepal batters in the first ODI of the three-match series, dropping three relatively easy chances inside the first five overs. The Nepal openers, Kushan Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh, took advantage of the Indian fielding errors and added 65 for the first wicket. The partnership was finally broken by Shardul Thakur, with Ishan Kishan holding onto the first catch of the game.
Ravindra Jadeja then took three quick wickets to bring Nepal from 65/1 to 101/4 in 21 overs. That was the phase when India started to make a comeback into the game, but the Nepal middle-order through Sompal Kami, Gulsan Jha, and Dipendra Singh Airee brought their team back into the game. Runs from the mid-order started making the Indian fielders frustrated.
“We were a bit sloppy in the field,” said Indian captain Rohit Sharma. “We dropped a few catches and gave away some easy runs. We need to be better in the field if we want to win this series.”
The fielders started missing some easy chances on the field and also started giving some easy runs with wayward bowling. All these things added to the pressure of a must-win game. The Indian fielders at one point looked desperate to get wickets with the partnership between Kami and Airee flourishing. The duo added exactly 50 runs for the seventh wicket.
In the final 10 overs, the Indian fielders in trying to get the opposition bowled out started conceding some extra runs coupled with misfields. In the fourth ball of the 45th over, Kami and Sandeep Lamichhane stole two runs due to overthrows.
Here is the video of the incident:
— No-No-Crix (@Hanji_CricDekho) September 4, 2023
“It was frustrating to see them steal two runs,” said Sharma. “We need to be more accurate in our fielding if we want to win this game.” The Nepal batters literally stole two runs, frustrating the Indian skipper. There was a look of despair on the faces of Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli as well. Nepal were finally bowled out in the 49th over for 230. India now need to score 231 to win the game.
The Indian bowlers will need to be at their best if they want to defend this target. The Nepal batters have shown that they are capable of scoring runs, and the Indian fielders will need to be on their toes if they want to avoid another frustrating defeat.