Rohit Paudel becomes youngest batsman to hit international half-century

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KATHMANDU, Feb-1:  Rohit Paudel broke Shahid Afridi’s record to become the youngest half-centurion in one-day internationals on Saturday. Paudel, aged 16 years and 146 days, scored 55 in the second ODI of Nepal’s tour of the United Arab Emirates.

Paudel, who batted at No 7, scored 55 off 58 balls and his innings was studded with 7 boundaries. Thanks to the 16-year-old’s exploits, Nepal finished with 242 for 9 off their 50 overs. Nepal beat the UAE by by 145 runs.

Overall in international cricket, the record was held by Sachin Tendulkar, who scored 59 in a Test against Pakistan at 16 years and 213 days.

Paudel had come close to setting a world record when he made his ODI debut aged 15 years and 335 days back in August 2018. He became the fourth-youngest male cricketer to make his ODI debut.

Paudel first attracted attention when he smashed Indian speedster Kamlesh Nagarkoti for 24 runs off five balls in the Under-19 World Cup three years ago.

Pakistan legend Shahid Afridi was 16 years and 217 days when he scored 102 against Sri Lanka in Nairobi back in 1996.

In two ODIs before Saturday, Paudel had scored 15 runs with a best of 9. In fact, he did not even have a half-century in any List A match – his previous best was an unbeaten 48.

Paudel had made his debut in August 2018 against Nethelands at Amstelveen.

Nepal attained ODI status in May 2018 when it beat Papua New Guinea by six wickets in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier play-off in Harare.

Paudel has joined another young sensation from Afghanistan in creating ODI history. In 2018, leg-spinner Rashid Khan became the youngest man to become world No.1 in the ICC’s rankings for ODI bowlers.

Rashid is a megastar today and is a huge success in different T20 leagues around the world.

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