Paras Khadka and historic firsts go hand in hand. The Nepal captain and easily the best batsman the country has produced holds pretty much all the batting records for Nepal and on Saturday he added another feather to his cap.
This time, his achievement was not limited to Nepal and in fact, was a world record. Khadka created history in a T20I against Singapore. He not only became Nepal’s first centurion in T20Is but also became the first captain ever to score a ton while chasing in a T20I.
Khadka reached his hundred off 49 balls becoming the fourth-fastest T20I centurion by an Asian captain. He ended up with an unbeaten 106 off 52 balls as Nepal chased down the 152-run target with 9 wickets in hand and 4 overs to spare against Singapore. Khadka’s historic innings was laced with seven fours and nine sixes.
The previous best by a captain while chasing belonged to Netherlands Pieter Seelaar who scored an unbeaten 96 against Scotland barely 12 days ago. Australia’s Steve Smith (90 vs England in 2015) is fourth on the list followed by West Indian talisman Chris Gayle (88 vs Australia in 2009).
Khadka, who is also the first cricketer from Nepal to score an ODI ton, appears twice in the top 10 now. He had scored an unbeaten 86 against Malaysia last month. India’s Virat Kohli is 8th on the list with his 82-run innings while chasing against Sri Lanka in 2017.
Khadka’s ton was not the only record in the Nepal vs Singapore T20I. Nepal’s chase also became the lowest T20I score in which a batsman has scored a century. The previous lowest was Australia’s 161 for 5 against England in 2018 including Glenn Maxwell’s unbeaten 103.
Khadka’s 145-run stand with Aarif Sheikh is now the fifth-highest partnership for the second wicket. Sheikh scored 39 runs from 38 balls.
Earlier, Singapore captain Tim David’s 64 off 44 powered them to 151 for 3 in their allotted 20 overs. Nepal’s star spinner Sandeep Lamichhane could not pick up a wicket, but he gave away only 18 runs in his 4 overs.
This was Nepal’s first victory in the tri-series which also involves Zimbabwe. They had lost their tournament opener to Zimbabwe a couple of nights ago.