HANGZHOU: Nepal cricket team broke a plethora of T20I records when they faced Mongolia in the opening men’s cricket match of the Asian Games 2023 at the Zhejiang University of Technology Pingfeng Cricket Field on Monday.
Winning the toss, Mongolia invited Nepal to bat first and the batting team turned the game into a run-fest with a record 314-run total in their allocated 20 overs.
Nepal’s 314-3 is the highest-ever total by a men’s team in T20 cricket, be it international or domestic. This was also the first instance of a men’s team scoring 300 runs in a T20 innings.
Prior to that, the highest T20 total was Afghanistan’s 278, which they scored against Ireland in 2019, as well as the Czech Republic who scored the same against Turkey in 2019.
Nepal lost their first wicket in the fifth over with 44 runs on the board, which brought Kushal Malla to the crease, who played blazing innings at a berserk pace to score the fastest T20I century in only 34 balls.
The previous record for the fastest T20I century was jointly held by David Miller, Rohit Sharma, and Sudesh Wickramasekara, with each having taken 35 balls.
Kushal Malla scored an explosive unbeaten 137 off 50, hitting eight fours and 12 sixes.
Meanwhile, Nepal’s captain Rohit Paudel scored 61 off 27, with the help of two boundaries and six sixes, before getting out in the 18th over with 259 runs on board.
Dipendra Singh Airee came out to bat with only 11 balls to go, but he made the best out of available resources and struck the fastest fifty in T20 cricket.
The record was previously held by Yuvraj Singh in T20Is, while Chris Gayle and Hazratullah Zazai held the record in domestic franchise cricket. They all took 12 balls to score a fifty.
In his undefeated 10-ball 52, Dipendra Singh Airee scored at a strike rate of 520, marking the first instance in T20s where a batter has scored at a strike rate exceeding 500 in an innings of 10 or more balls.
Prior to this, the record was held by Malcolm Waller, who played at a strike rate of 430 against Matabeleland Tuskers during Zimbabwe’s domestic T20 tournament in 2016.
The Nepal cricket team also set a new record for the most sixes in a T20 international by a team with 26 sixes. The previous record of 22 was held by Afghanistan against Ireland in Dehradun in 2019 and by West Indies against South Africa in Centurion earlier this year.
Nepal bowlers then bowled out Mongolia for a meagre 41, defeating them by a whopping 273 runs margin and setting a new record for the highest margin of victory in terms of runs in all T20s. The previous record was the Czech Republic’s 208-run victory against Panama in 2021.