KATHMANDU, APRIL 20
Kushal Bhurtel entered the history books as he became the first batsman in the world to score consecutive half centuries in the first three Twenty20 International matches.
Bhurtel scored his third straight half century against the Netherlands in the league round match of the Bajaj Pulsar Tri-Nation T20I Series here at the TU Stadium today. Bhurtel had scored 46-ball 62 in his debut match against the Netherlands on Saturday, while he remained unbeaten on 61 off 41 balls against Malaysia on Monday.
Nepal faced a three-wicket defeat at the hands of the Netherlands despite posting 206-6 in 20 overs. But Bhurtel created world record of half centuries in the first three consecutive matches when he reached 50 off 41 balls. He was ultimately dismissed for 46-ball 62 that included eight hits to the fence and a six. England's Dawid Malan held the record two half centuries in first two matches of the career.
Chris Gayle of the West Indies and Brendon McCullum of New Zealand hold the record of the most consecutive half centuries in T20Is with four 50s under their belts.
Bhurtel joined the likes of Indian duo Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, Australian David Warner, South African Hashim Amla, and Pakistani batsmen Mohammad Rizwan ad Mohammad Hafeez in the list of the players with three consecutive half centuries in T20Is.
The world record is second for Bhurtel in the ongoing tournament and he has also created a couple of marks for the national team.
Bhurtel and Asif Sheikh had become the best debutant pair in the world by sharing a 116-run partnership against the Netherlands on Saturday. They surpassed the sixth-wicket 90-run stand by Mozambique's F Damiao Couana and FA Cossa against Malawi set in 2019. They also became the best Nepali opening pair when they surpassed the previous record stand of 108 runs held by Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla.
Bhurtel broke the fastest half century record by a Nepali debutante when he reached 50 off 30 balls and also became the highest scorer in debut match. Sundeep Jora held the record of 41-ball 50 scored against the UAE in 2019.
On Monday, Bhurtel became the first Nepali batsman to score two consecutive half centuries in T20Is when he contributed an unbeaten 61 off 41 balls in Nepal's nine-wicket victory over Malaysia.
A version of this article appears in the print on April 21, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.