Nepal’s men’s cricket team made headlines during the ongoing Asian Games 2023 game against Mongolia on Wednesday. They put up a massive total of 314/3 in 20 overs and became the first team to break the 300-run mark in the shortest format of the game. Earlier, the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed that the games that are being played at the Asian Games would be granted T20I status.
Add to it, Nepal’s batter Dipendra Singh Airee broke former India player Yuvraj Singh’s record of the fastest T20I half-century. The former left-hander attained this feat back during the 2007 World Cup against England (12 balls) while the Nepal batter took only nine deliveries to reach his fifty. He ended his innings with an unbeaten score of 52 in 10 balls, with 48 runs coming in sixes.
list of highest T20I scores in history:
1. Nepal – 314/4 vs Mongolia (2023)
2: Afghanistan – 278/3 vs Ireland (2019)
3: Czech Republic – 278/4 vs Turkey (2019)
4: Australia – 263/3 vs Sri Lanka (2016)
5: Sri Lanka 260/6 vs Kenya (2007)
— CAN (@CricketNep) September 27, 2023
Apart from Dipendra, Kushal Malla also surpassed India captain Rohit Sharma and South Africa’s star batter David Miller to make the fastest T20I hundred, reaching the three-figure mark in just 34 deliveries. Malla hit 8 fours and 12 sixes and was unbeaten on 137 off just 50 deliveries.
However, Nepal started it slow at the Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field in Hangzhou with both opener batters playing at a strike rate below 100. Malla then started charging the bowlers, building a 193-run stand alongside captain Rohit Paudel (61 off 27 balls) before Dipendra came out to bat and gave the side a near-perfect finish.
There are three teams each in three groups in the first round of the men’s competition at the Asian Games. The top-ranked team from each group will make it to the quarter-finals, where the likes of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan will be joining the ongoing tournament.