Yashasvi Jaiswal etched his name in the annals of Indian cricket history on Tuesday, October 3, by becoming the youngest Indian batter to register a T20I century in men’s cricket. The 21-year-old left-handed sensation powered his way to a scintillating hundred off just 49 balls, propelling India to a formidable total of 202/4 in their 20 overs during the Asian Games 2023 quarter-final showdown against Nepal. This remarkable feat unfolded at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field in Hangzhou.
Before Jaiswal’s record-breaking century, Shubman Gill had held the distinction as the youngest Indian to score a T20I ton at the age of 23 years and 146 days, while Suresh Raina achieved the feat when he was 23 years and 156 days old. Jaiswal’s century not only makes him the youngest but also marks the first three-figure score by an Indian in the Asian Games. Additionally, his breathtaking innings ranks as the joint-fourth fastest hundred ever scored by an Indian in T20Is.
The Men in Blue elected to bat first after winning the toss, and Jaiswal took center stage, delivering a masterful performance that included eight fours and seven towering sixes. Partnering with captain Ruturaj Gaikwad (25 off 23), the duo compiled a formidable opening partnership of 103 runs in just 9.5 overs. Jaiswal’s brilliance was evident right from the outset as he struck consecutive sixes off Karan KC in the second over.
The left-hander accelerated to a scorching 22-ball fifty by sending Sandeep Lamichhane’s delivery sailing over long-off for a maximum. Gaikwad’s dismissal marked the end of the opening partnership when he was caught at deep midwicket while attempting to take on Dipendra Singh Airee.
Tilak Varma (2) was bowled by Sompal Kami, and debutant Jitesh Sharma (5) was caught and bowled by Lamichhane. Throughout, Jaiswal maintained his aggressive approach, reaching 95 and momentarily celebrating, believing he had achieved his hundred after playing a lap shot off Kami over short fine leg. However, the ball had landed just inside the boundary ropes.
Jaiswal eventually reached his well-deserved century off 48 balls on the very next delivery, nudging the ball to the leg side for a single.
Heroic Rinku Singh Lifts India Past 200 After Jaiswal’s Departure
Jaiswal’s century celebration was short-lived as he was dismissed immediately after reaching the milestone, miscuing a full toss from Airee. However, Rinku Singh (37* off 15) stepped up with a remarkable cameo, while Shivam Dube (25* off 19) also contributed valuable runs, allowing India to finish their innings on a high note.
Rinku Singh displayed his prowess by smashing Abinash Bohara and Rohit Paudel for consecutive sixes in back-to-back overs. In the final over, he went on a rampage against Bohara, launching him for two more sixes and two fours, ultimately accumulating 25 runs in the last over.
With an impressive total of 202/4 on the scoreboard, India set a challenging target for Nepal in this Asian Games 2023 quarter-final clash.
India: Ruturaj Gaikwad (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Rinku Singh, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh.
Nepal: Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh (wk), Sundeep Jora, Gulsan Jha, Rohit Paudel (c), Kushal Malla, Dipendra Singh Airee, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Abinash Bohara, Sandeep Lamichhane.
The cricketing world now awaits Nepal’s response as they chase down this challenging target set by India in this thrilling Asian Games quarter-final encounter.