Kathmandu, 29 September : National cricket team skipper Paras Khadka became Nepal’s first Twenty20 International Century as his whirlwind know blew away Singapore by nine wickets in a Singapore Twenty20 Tri Series match on Saturday.
A day after a fighting five-wicket victory over Zimbabwe, Nepal were up against a Singaporean side who, in July, had stunned Nepal by 82 runs to deprive them of a chance to compete in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers next month. Nepal relatively had a young squad with only Paras and Binod Bhandari among the survivors from the team that is playing together since 2009.
On the back of yet another half century from their newly-recruited skipper Tim David, Singapore had put a nose ahead after posting a decent 151-3 in 20 overs. The hosts must have had sniffed victory restricting Nepal to 37-1 in the powerplays.
But it was all Paras after the powerplays as the Nepali skipper played with sheer aggression and made full use of a small Indian Association ground smashing a 49-ball century – the country’s first triple figure score in the shortest version of the game leading Nepal to 154-1 in just 16 overs.
Paras, who also is the only Nepali batsman so far to score One Day International ton, smashed 52-ball 106 with nine huge sixes and seven boundaries. On his way to scoring the maiden T20I ton, Paras also brought Nepal’s highest partnership for any wicket in the format.
He and Aarif Sheikh shared 145 unbeaten runs for the second wicket with the Singapore hardly believed the game was done with 24 deliveries to spare. Aarif played a second fiddle scoring 39 off 38 deliveries with five hits to the fence.
Earlier, opener Surendra Chandramohan struck a 26-ball 35 hitting five fours and a six before David once again proved cornerstone in Singapore innings. He had also smashed a 43-ball 77 when Singapore stunned Nepal by 82 runs in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup Asia Qualifier in July and on Saturday made 66 not out of 44 deliveries leading his side to what initially looked like a challenging total.
David struck four sixes and three boundaries and got good support from Janak Prakash to finish off the innings for Singapore. Prakash chipped in 18-ball 25. Karan KC took 2-34 for Nepal.
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