>Yashasvi Jaiswal smashed a blazing hundred but a gritty Nepal stretched Indian bowling unit to its limit before losing in the quarter-finals of the men's cricket event by 23 runs at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Tuesday.
Jaiswal, Indian cricket's new pin-up boy, earned the distinction of being the youngest T20I centurion from the country en route his 49-ball-100 that took India to a healthy 202/4 in 20 overs.
The men from the Himalayan nation made a match of it but lack of experience became their undoing as their innings ended on 179/9, but they did give Ruturaj Gaikwad's men a lot to think about as far as their bowling was concerned.
No praise would be enough for the Monty Desai-coached Nepal as the smaller ground dimensions helped them embarrass two Indian pacers Arshdeep Singh (2/43) and Avesh Khan (3/32), who gave away 75 runs in their cumulative eight overs.
There is one piece of statistics that will certainly annoy head coach V V S Laxman. India, in all, hit 12 sixes but Nepal batters surpassed them with 14 maximums.
It was debutant left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore (1/25) and IPL star Ravi Bishnoi (3/24) who actually controlled the middle overs to save India from what could have been an upset.
The likes of Kushal Bhurtel, Kushal Malla, Deependra Airee and Sundeep Jora are blessed with talent and hope the global cricket establishment gives them enough exposure to consistently challenge heavyweights like they did this day.
Against better teams like Bangladesh or Pakistan, the Indian pacers, who bowled too full or too short will be in trouble keeping the ridiculously short side boundaries into account.
But nothing can take the credit away from 21-year-old Jaiswal, who enthralled the crowd with eight fours and seven sixes.
There was slog sweep off pacers and spinners, the pick-up pull behind square, the square cuts, the heave over cow corner and the deftly executed lap shot over keeper's head to reach to 99 before a single took him to the milestone.
Credit should also be given to Rinku Singh, who once again revelled in his role as finisher with 37 off 15 balls, including 20-odd in the final over which made the difference in the end.