In a thrilling showdown at the Asian Games 2023, India, led by Ruturaj Gaikwad, emerged victorious over Nepal, captained by Rohit Paudel, securing a spot in the semi-finals with a 23-run win. The highlight of the match was Yashasvi Jaiswal’s incredible performance, making him the youngest Indian to score a T20I century.
India, opting to bat first, set a challenging target of 202 runs for Nepal, losing four wickets in the process. Jaiswal and Gaikwad set the stage with an impressive opening partnership of 103 runs in just 9.5 overs. Gaikwad contributed 25 runs off 23 balls before being dismissed by Dipendra Singh Airee. However, Jaiswal continued his onslaught, achieving his maiden T20I century in just 48 balls. Jaiswal’s stellar innings was the driving force behind India’s ability to breach the 200-run mark. Although Tilak Varma and Jitesh Sharma fell early with single-digit scores, Rinku Singh played a blistering cameo, adding 37 runs from 15 balls, including two fours and four sixes. Shivam Dube also played his part, scoring 25 runs off 19 balls with two fours and a six.
Nepal, in their run-chase, displayed determination but couldn’t reach the target. Despite Kushal Bhurtel’s 28 runs, his slow-paced innings hindered their progress. Kushal Malla, known for the fastest T20I century, contributed 29 runs off 22 balls before falling to Ravi Bishnoi’s delivery. Dipendra Airee, who had previously broken Yuvraj Singh’s record for the fastest T20I fifty, scored an impressive 32 runs from 15 balls before being dismissed by Bishnoi. Sundeep Jora made a valiant effort, smashing 29 runs from 12 balls, including three sixes. Karan KC’s late blitz was in vain, as Nepal concluded their innings at 179 for the loss of nine wickets, falling short of the target.