Nepal restricted Kenya to an average 130 runs in the first T20I match of the five-match series. Invited to bat first, at Gymkhana Club Ground the home side were unable to do any special in the return of international cricket in the country after a decade.
Sompal Kami knocked over Alex Obanda in the second over before Aadil Alam yielded the second wicket for Nepal in the last ball of the powerplay. Despite gathering 13 runs in the sixth over, Kenya were able to add just 34 runs from the powerplay.
Skipper Sandeep Lamichhane then trapped Rakeep Patel in the second ball of his spell, maintaining the record of picking up at least one wicket in 25 consecutive T20Is. Irfan Karim and Nelson Odhiambo then shared sluggish 35 runs for Kenya before Dipendra Singh Airee sent back Odhiambo in the 15th over. Irfan Karim too walked back swiftlyfor 36 (44) following a brilliant follow-up catch from Lamichhane.
Lucas Oluoch’s late firework and Sachin Bhudia’s little cameo helped Kenya post a respectful total at the end. Bhudia added 17 runs smashing a couple of sixes against Lamichhane whereas Oluoch hammered 31 runs from just 13 balls. Kenya added 35 runs from the last three overs.
Sompal Kami was the pick of a bowler for Nepal grabbing three wickets conceding 22 runs from his spell. Sandeep Lamichhane took a couple of wickets while Aadil Aalam and Dipendra Singh Airee pocketed one wicket each.