In Hangzhou, Nepal rewrites T20I cricket record books

Sent in to bat first after losing the toss, Nepal amassed a whopping 314-3, the record highest total in men’s T20I. In doing so, Nepal eclipsed the previous highest total of 278-3 by Afghanistan against Ireland in 2019.

Dil Kumar Ale Magar

Dil Kumar Ale Magar

The Kathmandu Post


(Left) Dipendra Singh Airee and Kushal Malla. PHOTO: CAN/ THE KATHMANDU POST

September 29, 2023

KATHMANDU – Nepal rewrote the T20 International cricket history on Wednesday, shattering multiple records on the opening day of the men’s cricket competition in their sensational 273-run victory over Mongolia at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China on Wednesday.

Sent in to bat first after losing the toss, Nepal amassed a whopping 314-3, the record highest total in men’s T20I. In doing so, Nepal eclipsed the previous highest total of 278-3 by Afghanistan against Ireland in 2019.

The Rhinos then dismissed Mongolia for 41 in 13.1 overs for an emphatic win, setting a record for the biggest run-margin victory in the T20s. The previous largest margin of victory in T20I was recorded by Czech Republic when they defeated Panama by 208 runs in 2021.

Kushal Malla led the carnage of Mongolia, who were making their international debut in cricket, at the Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field, smashing the record fastest men’s T20I century off 34 balls. He surpassed the previous records of fastest hundred jointly held by South African cricketer David Miller (against Bangladesh in 2017), India’s Rohit Sharma (against Sri Lanka in 2017) and Czech Republic’s Sudesh Wickramasekara (against Turkey in 2019), all of whom had struck a century in 35 balls.

Malla remained unbeaten on 50-ball 137 that featured eight fours and 12 sixes.

Malla, at 19 years and 206 days, also became the second-youngest batter to score a century in men’s T20Is. Gustav Mckeon of France scored 61-ball 109 during the 2024 T20 World Cup Sub-Regional Group B match against Switzerland before turning 19 in July 2022.

Dipendra Singh Airee racked up another record for Nepal, cracking the fastest T20I fifty in just nine balls to go past India’s legendary all-rounder Yuvraj Singh’s record of a 12-ball fifty against England during the ICC T20 World Cup 2007. Airee cracked eight maximums.

Airee added two runs in the last ball to finish his innings with a 10-ball 52.

Airee’s strike rate of 520 is also the best in a T20I innings of 10 or more balls. Malcolm Waller’s strike rate of 430 in a ten-ball innings against Matabeleland Tuskers in 2016 in Zimbabwe’s domestic T20 competition was the previous highest strike rate.

Malla came in to bat at the end of the fifth over with Nepal at 42-1 after opener Aasif Sheikh (16) was caught behind by Enkh-erdene Otgonbayar off Luvsanzundui Erdenebulgan.

Sheikh’s opening partner, Kushal Bhurtel, then returned to the pavilion scoring 19 after he was caught by Mungun Altankhuyag off Davaasuren Jamyansuren.

But Malla kept on the onslaught, putting on a 193-run stand with captain Rohit Paudel, who made 27-ball 61, for the third wicket in less than 11 overs. This is the highest-ever partnership for the third wicket in men’s T20I. New Zealand’s Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips shared a 184-run partnership for the third wicket against West Indies in November 2020.

Paudel, who hit two fours and six maximums, was caught by Otgonbayar in the 18.1 overs.

But Airee’s heroics in the final few overs, along with Malla’s record century and Paudel’s half-century, saw Nepal rack up 272 runs in 15 overs by the end of their innings.

Nepal also smashed a total of 26 sixes in their innings, the most in a T20I by a team, breaking Afghanistan’s 22 sixes against Ireland in 2019 and West Indies’ 22 sixes against South Africa earlier this year.

Karan KC, Abinash Bohara and Sandeep Lamichhane took two wickets each for Nepal. Airee, Bhurtel and Sompal Kami pocketed one wicket apiece.

Mongolia’s 23 of the 41 all out came via extras, which is the highest proportion of team runs to have come via extras in a men’s T20I inning.

Except for Jamyansuren (10), none other Mongolia batters touched the double-digit figures.

Nepal next play the Maldives in their Group A fixture on Sunday.

Japan, Hong Kong and Cambodia are in Group B, while Group C consists of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

The winners of each group will join India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the quarter-finals.

The fourteen participating teams were seeded according to their T20I rankings.

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