Indian opener Yashasvi Jaiswal's maiden T20Is century and late flourish by Rinku Singh ensured a 23-run win for the national team against Nepal in the quarterfinals of the Asian Games on Tuesday.
India opted to bat after captain Ruturaj Gaikwad won the toss, and Jaiswal was simply magnificent in the powerplay. From the start, he tonked Nepal bowlers, though Gaikwad was below par.
Jaiswal looked a cut above the rest, batting superbly on a difficult wicket and building a foundation in the first half of the inning. He cracked an alluring century, and Rinku gave the finishing touch with his knock of 37 not out off 15 balls, powering India to a total of 200-plus.
In reply, the Nepal openers Kushal Bhurtel (28) and Aasif Sheikh (10) gave them a steady start, but failed to make a big push in the powerplay.
Kushal Malla (29), Dipendra Singh Airee (32 off 15) and Sundeep Jora (29 off 12) chipped in with handy cameos for their side, but they were never going to be enough. The boundaries were pretty short too, hence the batsmen from both the teams managed to hit many sixes throughout the game.
Avesh Khan and Ravi Bishnoi scalped three wickets each, while Sai Kishore had a good debut as he picked a wicket, and snapped up three catches.
Earlier, the 21-year-old Jaiswal created history by becoming the youngest batsman to score a century in T20Is. He broke Shubman Gill's record of being the youngest Indian batsman to reach the triple-digit score in T20Is.
Jaiswal got his maiden century in T20Is at the age of 21 and Gill at 24 against New Zealand on February 1 in Ahmedabad.
He smashed his maiden century in 48 balls with eight boundaries and seven sixes, but got out to Dipendra Singh, who has him caught by Abinash Bohara in the very next ball.
Jaiswal gave India a rollicking start by getting 103 runs in 9.5 overs for the first wicket with captain Ruturaj Gaikwad (25).
After the powerplay, India looked to amass 250 runs but once the spinners took over it became tough for the Indian batsmen as Nepal bowlers got their length right.
Apart from Jaiswal, the next three batsmen did not get the timing right, Gaikwad was caught by Rohit Paudel off Dipender.
Tilak Varma and Jitesh Sharma quickly walked back to the dugout after scoring 2 and 5, off Sompal Kami and Sandeep Lamichhane, respectively.
Shivam Dube (25* off 19) hung around but Rinku (37* off 15) gave a great finish to push the score over 200.
Dipendra (2/31) and Sompal (1/38) were the pick of the bowlers for Nepal.