Kathmandu: In an extraordinary display of power hitting, Nepal’s cricket team rewrote the T20 record books with a colossal 273-run triumph over Mongolia at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou on Wednesday.
This victory is the largest winning margin ever recorded in a T20 International match.
Opting to bat first, Nepal’s batsmen unleashed a relentless onslaught on the Mongolian bowlers, aiming to send every ball soaring over the boundary ropes. Despite losing their opening duo, Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh, the middle-order batsmen displayed exceptional power-hitting prowess.
Kushal Malla emerged as the standout performer, achieving the fastest T20I century in just 34 balls. His blistering innings concluded at an astonishing 134 runs off 50 deliveries. Captain Rohit Paudel contributed significantly with an impressive 61 runs off just 27 balls.
Dipendra Singh Airee etched his name in the record books by crafting the fastest 50 in any format. Airee faced 10 balls, striking eight towering sixes, and reached his half-century in nine deliveries. He began his onslaught by dispatching his first six deliveries out of the stadium, propelling Nepal to a historic total of 314 runs in their allotted 20 overs.
In response, Mongolia found themselves completely overwhelmed by Nepal’s formidable bowling attack, and they were bundled out for a mere 41 runs. Nepal’s bowlers dominated the proceedings from the outset, with Karan KC, Abinash Bohora, and Sandeep Lamichhane each claiming two wickets, while Sompal Kami, Kushal Bhurtel, and Dipendra Singh Airee took one wicket apiece.
With this victory, Nepal has virtually secured their place in the quarter-finals of the tournament. In the upcoming knockout stage, they are set to face one among cricket powerhouses India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Sri Lanka, setting the stage for a thrilling contest.