Kathmandu, February 8
Kushal Malla became the youngest batsman in the world to score half century as Nepal defeated the United States of America by 35 runs to register their first One Day International victory here at TU Stadium today.
Competing in their second match of the Nepal Tri-Nation Series under the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2, Nepal were bowled out for 190 runs with four balls to spare before packing the USA for 155 runs in 44.1 overs.
Malla and Binod Bhandari rescued the hosts with 84- run partnership for the sixth wicket after they were reduced to 49-5 inside 21 overs. Bhandari top scored with 59 off 79 balls hitting six boundaries and a six in his maiden ODI half century but the day belonged to débutant Malla, who broke teammate Rohit Kumar Paudel’s world record.
Malla, who replaced Paudel in the starting XI, reached the milestone in 50 balls with the help of four boundaries and three sixes and was dismissed in the next delivery from Elmore Hutchinson. At 15 years and 340 days, Malla beat the previous record of 16 years and 146 days held by Paudel. Paudel had achieved the feat beating the likes of Indian legend Sachin Tendulakar and Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi during Nepal’s second ODI match against the United Arab Emirates in Dubai on January 26.
Invited to take the first strike, Nepal made a disastrous start losing opener Subash Khakurel (three) with just six runs on the board. Skipper Gyanendra Malla (21) and Paras Khadka (19) added 40 runs for the second wicket before the home side lost four wickets in the space of two runs to be 49-5. Kushal Malla and Bhandari revived the innings before Karan KC (12) and Sushan Bhari (11) chipped in valuable runs to help the team post fighting total.
Cameroon Stevenson took three wickets for the visitors, while Juan Theron and Saurabh Netravalkar grabbed two each.
In reply, Ian Holland fought the lonely battle for the US and he went on to top score with 75 off 111 balls that included seven boundaries. Man-of-the-match Karan KC returned with 4-15 and he was ably supported by Bhari (3-43) and Sandeep Lamichhane (2-27). Kushal Malla returned to take a wicket for the home side.
A version of this article appears in print on February 09, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.