A debutant batsman from Nepal has become the youngest player ever to score a half-century in men's one-day international cricket – going to the top of a list ahead of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Shahid Afridi.
Kushal Malla hit 50 to lead the fightback for the home side against United States in the Cricket World Cup League Two in Kathmandu.
At 15 years and 340 days, he is the youngest player to reach the milestone in the format.
He broke the record set by his countryman, Rohit Paudel, against the UAE in Dubai last year.
Previous to that, the youngest player to score an ODI 50 was the Indian great Tendulkar.
Malla’s effort was eye-catching for a variety of reasons, not least because of his tender years and the fact he is playing his first ODI.
Nepal were 47 for four when he came to the wicket to replace Paras Khadka, the mainstay of the home side’s batting line up. That quickly became 49 for five when Aarif Sheikh was dismissed.
Despite the struggles of his teammates, as well as some feisty interactions from the USA fielders, Malla progressed serenely.
He hit three sixes and four fours, as he reached his milestone in even time, before holing out to Elmore Hutchinson on the boundary, off Karima Gore’s bowling. When he was out, Nepal were on 133 for six. Binod Bhandari also made a half-century before Nepal were bowled out, leaving USA needing to chase 191 to win from their 50 overs.