Bhurtel star as Nepal wins first match of Tri-Nation T20i series

first_imgDebutant openers Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh shared a record partnership as hosts Nepal made a flying start to their Tri-Nations Twenty20 International Series, defeating the Netherlands by nine wickets in the curtain-raiser at the TU cricket grounds in Kirtipur on Saturday.The duo shared a 116-run partnership for the first wicket and both completed half-centuries in their first-ever T20 International match as Nepal chased a 137-run target with five overs to spare losing just one wicket. The duo also surpassed the previous best first wicket T20I partnership of 108 runs set by skipper Gyanendra Malla and Paras Khadka against Bhutan in the 2019 South Asian Games.Bhurtel scored 62 runs off 46 deliveries and Sheikh remained unbeaten for 54 runs facing 38 balls for the experimental Nepali side that invited the Netherlands to bat first after winning the toss. Bowler Shahab Alam also earned his first T20I cap while it was also the first official match for Nepal’s World Cup-winning Australian coach Dav Whatmore who was appointed for the post inThe man-of-the-match Bhurtel got a lifeline in the third ball of the innings despite being caught in Vivian Kingma delivery as the bowler had overstepped to hurl a no-ball. The 25-year-old cracked five boundaries and as many sixes before being caught by captain Pieter Seelaar off Julian De Mey in the 13th over. He reached his half-century facing 30 deliveries. Nepal won the match in the 15 overs by 9 wickets.last_img read more