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Gyanendra silences critics with fastest T20I half century

Jul 24, 2019 | Cricketingnepal |

Gyanendra Malla smashed Nepal's fastest half century in Twenty20 Internationals bringing his country back in contention for the top spot of the ICC World Twenty20 Asia Qualifier on Wednesday at Indian Association Ground in Singapore.

Stand-in captain Gyanendra struck a 20-ball half century as Nepal chased down Malaysia's 83-7 in just eight overs in a match reduced to nine-over-a-side due to rain.

Finishing at 86-3 with a six from Binod Bhandari, Nepal now jumped into the third spot with two points to bounce back from their stunning four-wicket defeat at the hands of Qatar on Tuesday. Singapore are currently at the top with three points from two games.

Malaysia (1.091), who also have two points from two matches, are second with better net run rate ahead of Nepal (0.123) and Qatar (-0.658). Only the table toppers after the single round robin league will advance to the ICC Twenty20 World Cup Global Qualifier to be held later this year in the UAE.

Nepal's chase was all about Gyanendra who came into the match with a string of low totals that had him on firing line of the critics. The opener scored fluently and shared 66 runs for the first wicket in just 32 balls with Pradeep Airee (12) who was a calm ally during the stand.

It was the highest opening wicket stand for Nepal in the format eclipsing the previous best of 49 between Gyanendra and skipper Paras Khadka in the first match against Qatar.

Gyanendra, who was out after his record half century in an attempt to launch Muhamma Syahadat over long on, finished with 21-ball 51 that include five fours and three sixes. He broke Binod Bhandari's record of fastest half-century in the shortest version of the game. Bhandari had done it in 25 deliveries against Malaysia last week.

Syahadat, who was hit for the winning six by Bhandari (13 not out), took 3-19 in two overs.

Earlier, Malaysia made a good comeback after Sompal Kami struck twice twice in the first over. He got rid of openers Anwar Arudin and Shafiq Sharif for ducks. Sompal returned the figures of 3-23 from two overs.

Syed Aziz top scored for the losing side with 15-ball 30 that included five fours and a six. Virandeep Singh also slammed a four and a six on his way to scoring 21 runs off 17 balls. Basant Regmi (2-9) applied the brakes when Malaysia needed acceleration.


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