Singapore scaled their mount Everest, defeating Nepal in a commanding victory on their way to winning the ICC T20 World Cup Asia Final
Singapore v Nepal
It was a beautiful Sunday morning and all was set for what was in effect a winner-takes-all final between hosts Singapore and pre-tournament favourites Nepal. Both teams had great support on the park with vociferous fans cheering their heroes on and flags waving in the air.
Singapore won the toss and elected to bat on a surface that looked great for batting.
Singapore openers R Rohan (49 off 33) and S Chandramohan (8 off 7) took to the park looking confident and up for the challenge. However, Karan KC managed to strike in the second over separating the openers with just 10 runs on the board.
Tim David, Singapore’s star player, stepped onto the park at the fall of the first wicket determined to take control of the Singapore innings. He was due a big one and he delivered on the big occasion. He smashed 77 off 43 balls and combined with Rohan for a stinging 89-run partnership that stole the momentum from Nepal. In the final equation their runs were crucial.
Manpreet Singh (42 off 27) and Anish Param (9 off 6) finished off the Singapore innings in style taking the total to a daunting 191 for 6 in their 20 overs. The attack from the Singapore batsmen were relentless.
A Bohara picked up four wickets in his spell of four overs and Sompal Kami was economical only conceding 15 runs in his spell of 3 overs.
The scene was set for a cracking chase and Nepal captain Paras Khadka (12 off 10) announced his arrival and the intent of Nepal straight away taking 11 off the very first over. Combining with G Malla (39 off 21) they looked set to take the game to Singapore.
Singapore captain Amjad Mahboob stepped in and took a decisive call to bowl himself, and with his very first delivery he was able to remove his counterpart, with a clever change of pace sending the Singapore supporters in to a frenzy and deflating the Nepal supporters as well as the Nepal dugout.
S Vijayakumar, who claimed 4/25 from his four overs, having dropped a difficult chance off G Malla came on to bowl the seventh over and immediately made up for the dropped chance by bowling him with a ripper of an off-break. The very next over the big-hitting Sharad Vesawkar was caught on the long-off boundary by Janak Prakash of the bowling of Anantha Krishna.
This catch will remain in the memory of all present and watching on live broadcast as one of the best-ever grabs, leaping high into the air taking the ball single-handed and landing with the boundary rope only millimeters away. Nepal were 62 for 3 and the required run rate was climbing at an alarming rate thereafter with the three main batsmen back in the dugout.
DS Airee (22 off 23) tried with great heart to launch a fight back batting with the tail but was unable to haul back the gulf that was ever widening between the runs required and the balls available.
V Baskaran and Janak Prakash combined with excellent Singapore fielding ensured that Nepal were comprehensively defeated by 82 runs in the 15th over.
The entire Singapore dugout erupted in joy and the crowed sang out Singapore….Singapore….Singapore as the victorious team was given a heroes’ ovation.
It was a wonderful week of action packed T20 cricket that concluded as Singapore were crowned ICC T20 World Cup Asia Final champions.
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