Asiad: Kushal Malla hammers fastest T20I ton as Nepal create history

Hangzhou, Sep 27 (UNI) Teenager Kushal Malla broke the previous records held by three batsmen, including Rohit Sharma for scoring the fastest men’s T20I century as Nepal created history by scoring the highest total ever against Mongolia at the Asian Games here on Wednesday.

Malla took just 34 balls to reach his century, pipping the 35-ball ton by Rohit and David Miller in 2017 and Sudesh Wickramasekara in 2019 as Nepal amassed a whopping 314/3 from their 20 overs.

Prior to this, Afghanistan held the record for highest T20I total of 278/3 against Ireland and the Czech Republic (278/4 vs Turkey) holding the previous highest total with their own large scores from 2019.

Nepal smashed a total of 26 sixes during their impressive innings, with 12 of those maximums coming from the bat of Malla and a further eight from Dipendra Singh Airee.

Malla came to the crease at the end of the fifth over with his team at 42/1 and didn’t take his foot from the accelerator despite the loss of opener Kushal Bhurtel with the score on 66.

The left-hander combined with skipper Rohit Paudel (61 from 27 deliveries) for a partnership of 193 in less than 11 overs and Airee (52* off 10 balls) joined in the fun during the final few overs to break Yuvraj Singh’s record and claim the fastest T20I fifty ever in just nine deliveries.

Malla finished unbeaten on 137*, with Mongolia all out for 41 in reply as Nepal claimed an emphatic 273-run victory.

Nepal reached the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe earlier this year, but failed to qualify for the tournament proper as Sri Lanka and the Netherlands clinched the final two places.

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