National team vice-captain and perhaps the most artistic Nepali batsman Gyanendra Malla is celebrating his birthday today. On this occasion, we present you some of the most interesting moments that made Malla what he is today.
Morning shows the Day
Well before his performances for the senior team, he had proved his credential. On 11th of April in the year 2005, Malla represented the country for the first time against Qatar in U15 ACC Cup. He started off with a calm 17 not out but there was more to come. He averaged 50.50 through the tournament with the highlight being a Man of the Match performance of 73* against UAE on the Semi-Final. Nepal went on to win the tournament and Malla had fully placed himself as one for the future.
Brilliant in historic SA victory
When Nepal defeated South Africa by 2 runs in the Semi Final of the Plate Championship of the U19 World Cup, he scored a crucial 46* to ensure it happened. After opener Kanishka Chaugain made a dazzling 59, Nepal soom came to a delicate position with score reading 106 for 3 Malla, coming in at 4, batted as calmly as ever to make sure there was no collapse. His handy contribution added with some cameos by others made sure Nepal reach a respectable total and eventually beat South Africa.
Starting senior team career with a bang
After having played U15 cricket in 2005, Malla was quickly drafted into the U17 and U19 squads. His brillant performances in the U19 World Cup in 2006 earned him a national call-up for the four day Inter Continental Cup fixtures against Namibia. He could not perform much but still showed some glimpses with 16* on the second innings.
Immediately after that, he was selected to face a strong Pakistan Cricket Academy squad featuring the likes of Anwar Ali, Fawad Alam, Khurram Manzoor and Nasir Jamshed. His 78* on the second match was his first half-century for the senior side and that innings showed what Nepali cricket was about to witness in the next decade.
His scored his first 50 in a competitive international fixture against Kuwait in an ACC Trophy fixture in 2006. His 79* also fetched him a Man of the Match, the first one for him in international matches.
6 balls, 6 fours and fastest 50
Gyananendra Malla is a proud record record holder of having scored 6 boundaries in an over. Nepal were playing ACC Trophy Elite in the year 2012 and having lost to Kuwait earlier in the tournament, needed a huge victory against Saudi Arabia to stay in the contention. Chasing a below par target, Malla smashed every ball of the 10th over bowled by Mohammad Nadeem to the boundary.
In the same innings, he completed his 50 in mere 17 balls, still the fastest for any Nepali player. In total, he made 61 runs in 23 balls with 13 fours and a six and Nepal won the match by 9 wickets.
First century for Malla
Ending his eight years long wait, Malla scored his first century for the Senior Team against Singapore in a World Cricket League Championship Division Three match in the year 2014. He scored a classy knock of 114 runs off 125 balls in his 170 minutes stay on the crease and thus became 7th Nepali player to score an international century. His classy knock comprised of 13 fours and one six thereby ensuring Nepal earn a huge victory. After Subash Khakurel’s 115, it is the highest score by a Nepali batsman in an international match.
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