Rohit Kumar Paudel becomes the youngest male batsman to register a half-century in ODI

- Adarsha Dhakal, Dubai, UAE

Jan 26, 2019-

Nepali all-rounder Rohit Kumar Paudel, at 16 years and 146 days old, has become the youngest male batsman in history to register a 50 in One-Day International cricket, after hitting 55 runs off 58 balls against UAE, on Saturday. After losing an opener on Friday, Nepal bounced back on Saturday to register a thumping victory over UAE.

The previous record was set by Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi who registered 102 runs against Sri Lanka aged 16 years and 217 days in Nairobi in 1996. The other international record of a half-century in a Test Match was set by Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who registered 59 runs against Pakistan aged 16 years and 213 days in Pakistan in 1989. 

"I remember I was playing on some 40 odd runs, but later, I forgot the number I was batting on. It was only when Karan [KC] Dai told me that I realised I had a half-century and I raised my bat," said Paudel, the right-hand batsman, in his newfound joy.

“The team was in a difficult situation at that time. We were thinking of playing for the next five overs and take it till 40 overs and added another 30 to 40 runs until the 45th over. It got executed well,” Paudel, who had just heard of his world record, told the Post.

Paudel’s 55 runs was Nepal’s highest score in the second ODI against UAE, which Nepal began 1-0 down in the series and finished on 242/9 after winning the toss and electing to bat. 

“I am happy that he has played another crucial inning when the team needed it the most,” said Captain Paras Khadka on Paudel’s batting. He added that the ODI status would definitely bring many more records as Nepal pushes ahead.

“We have bigger goals and bigger dreams ahead of us. Paudel came into the squad today and proved himself and hopefully continues to do the same. It’s fabulous.”

Paudel was 15 years and 335 days old when he made his ODI debut against the Netherlands in August last year, making him the fourth youngest man. Paudel first caught attention for hitting India fast bowler Kamlesh Nagarkoti for 24 runs in five balls in a U19 ODI in 2016.

The overall international record is held by South Africa’s Johmari Logtenburg who hit both Women’s Test and ODI fifties as a 14-year-old.

Published: 26-01-2019 19:12

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