Nepal smash records in Asian Games blitz

Nepal broke a series of record against a debutant Mogolia at the Asian Games

Records tumbled for Nepal on Wednesday. In the opening match of the Men’s Asian Games in Hangzhou, Nepal scored a Men’s T20I record total of 314/3 against Mongolia. Within that record breaking team effort, Kushal Malla broke the record for the fastest Men’s T20I hundred – off 33 balls, and DS Airee broke the record for the fastest T20 fifty, off only 9 balls. Nepal then took the largest win in Men’s T20Is by runs, 273, after Mongolia were bowled out for 41.

The match was Mongolia’s first men’s T20I, after gaining ICC membership in 2021. And their introduction was nothing short of a baptism of fire. Although Mongolia had claimed two wickets in the first 8 overs, Nepal had already raced to 66/2. And it would get worse as every over thereafter went for double figures, with Malla and Rohit Paudel raising a record partnership for the third wicket of 193 runs. Malla broke the record for the fastest century during this time, reaching three-figures in 33 balls on his way to 137 off 60 balls.

Paudel was out for 61 in the 19th over, before chaos broke loose with the arrival of Airee. After two wides, Airee hit the remaining 5 balls of the over for 6. To start the final over, Malla turned the strike over to Airee, who continued to hammer the ball. He hit his 6th six in a row, a double and then two more sixes to complete a 9-ball fifty, eclipsing Yuvraj Singh’s record by 3 balls. The last ball was hit for two to complete a total of 314/3, breaking the previous Men’s T20I record of 278, shared by Czechia and Afghanistan, as well as being the first men’s T20I total over 300.

Although the batting was show-stopping, Nepal’s performance with the ball was not of the same standard. In Mongolia’s total of 41, 23 runs came from extras and 16 of those from wides. Of the 18 runs the Mongolians made off the bat, 10 came courtesy of Davaasuren Jamyansuren, the rest of the line-up combined for 8. Nine wickets were shared between the 7 Nepali bowlers as the Rhinos completed a 273-run win, beating Czechia’s previous record of 257 set against Turkey.

The Asian Games Men’s tournament is being played between 14 teams. In the first round, 9 associate sides are divided into three groups of three. Group A features Nepal, Maldives and Mongolia, Group B has Japan, Hong Kong and Cambodia and Group C Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The group winners progress to join the 5 Asian full members, with a straight knockout system completing the tournament, along with a bronze medal match. In the other match on the first day of the men’s tournament, Japan defeated Cambodia by 3 wickets.

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