In a thrilling finale of the T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier, Oman emerged victorious over Nepal in a dramatic super over showdown.
Nepal won the toss and opted to bat, but they faced an early setback as opener Aasif Sheikh departed quickly. However, Kushal Bhurtel laid a strong foundation, smashing a brisk 31 runs before falling to Aqib Ilyas. Wickets continued to tumble, with Sundeep Jora and Kushal Malla also departing cheaply.
With Nepal in a precarious position, captain Rohit Paudel and Gulshan Jha played sensational innings. Jha unleashed a barrage of powerful shots, accumulating 54 runs from just 25 balls, while Paudel remained unbeaten on 52. Their impressive 78-run partnership helped Nepal post a competitive total of 184. Karan KC’s late blitz, scoring 20 off six balls, further bolstered their score.
Bilal Khan stood out as the standout bowler for Oman, securing three crucial wickets, while Zeeshan Maqsood put in an impressive performance. However, the other bowlers struggled to contain the Nepali batsmen, especially Paudel, Jha, and KC, who took them to task.
In their chase, Nepal faced early challenges, despite picking up a wicket. Sompal Kami had a challenging start, conceding 37 runs in his first three overs. Kashyap Prajapati took on both Kami and Kushal Malla, displaying clinical batting prowess. Aqib Ilyas made a solid contribution but lost his wicket to Jha.
Zeeshan Maqsood attempted to propel the chase alongside Prajapati, but his dismissal to part-time bowler Bibek Yadav triggered a flurry of wickets. Yadav, along with the death over specialist Abinash Bohora, exerted control over the game. Bohora’s crucial dismissal of Prajapati put Nepal in a favorable position.
However, in a stunning turn of events, Mohammad Nadeem transformed the game with a blistering 24 runs from just nine balls, forcing the match into a super over.
In the super over, Naseem Khushi took charge, smashing three sixes off Abinash Bohora, effectively sealing the victory for Oman. Chasing 22 runs in the super over, Nepal could only manage 10 runs, suffering a heartbreaking loss in the final moments.