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Tight bowling, Aasif fireworks hand Nepal big victory

A discipline bowling followed by quickfire knock from opener Aasif Sheikh led Nepal to a big eight-wicket victory over Zimbabwe ‘A’ to level the three-match Twenty20 series at 1-1.

The second Twenty20 was washed out due to heavy rain. The hosts had lost the first match by six wickets after the top three Zimbabwean batsmen had run riot at the TU grounds.

Electing to field first, Nepali bowlers did well to restrict the visitors to 136-7 on a batting surface. Despite medim pacer Karan KC going with almost 10 runs an over, rest of the Nepali bowlers kept a tight line to ensure Zimbabwe couldn’t reach 150-run mark.

Nepal cantered to victory with 25 balls to spare after openers Aasif and Kushal Bhurtel laid the foundation for victory. Aasif stroked a 54-ball 87 not out with 13 fours and a six. He and Kushal gave a solid start to Nepal adding 88 runs for the first wicket.

Kushal scored 34 from 26 deliveries with two sixes and as many boundaries. Aasif also shared 34 runs for the second wicket with Bashir Ahamad (10) who was promoted up the order.

Earlier, Roy Kaia top scored for Zimbabwe with a 41-ball 49 that included seven boundaries. Tadiwanashe Marumani was their next best scorer making 27 from 30 hitting a four and a six, while Luke Jongwe chipped a run-a-ball 23.

Skipper Sandeep Lamichhane was the pick of the Nepali bowlers taking 2-25 from four overs and Bashir impressed once again in his first two matches for the senior side taking 1-18.

Sompal Kami also returned the figures of 1-19. The two teams will now lock horns for a three-match 50-over series.

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