The third T20 World Cup 2024 Europe Sub-Regional Qualifier tournament has seen a world record broken in Finland.
At 18 years and 280 days, French opening batter Gustav McKeon became the youngest Men’s player to score a T20I hundred, blasting five fours and nine sixes in a 61-ball 109 against Switzerland in Vantaa.
McKeon broke dasher Hazratullah Zazai’s record by more than two years, with the Afghanistan opener’s 162* from 62 balls against Ireland in 2019 scored at 20 years and 337 days.
McKeon’s innings backed up a swashbuckling 76 from 54 balls against the Czech Republic, and the teenager leads the tournament for runs, with his tally of 185 coming at a strike rate of 161, and an average of 92.50.
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Despite the century, McKeon’s France couldn’t finish the job, losing a final-ball thriller to their neighbours who chased down a target of 158.
Swiss skipper Faheem Nazir led at the top of the order with a 46-ball 67, with Ali Nayyer’s late-over heroics ensuring the last-gasp victory.
Nayyer blasted 12 off the final three balls, including a four off the last ball to break French hearts, meaning that the pair sit level on two points in group stage action. Norway lead Group 2 thanks to two resounding victories over Czech Republic and and Estonia, with the pair yet to get off the mark.
In Group 1, Austria and Guernsey remain undefeated, with Luxembourg winless in two matches. Bulgaria and Slovenia are also yet to taste victory, but they play each other in Wednesday action.
Guernsey are favourites to top their group, though the Channel Islanders were pushed by Luxembourg in a 17-run win.
Luxembourg’s Shiv Gill claimed Player of the Match honours with a 38-ball 47, but his effort fell in vein as seamer William Peatfield turned the match with three wickets.
The winner of the third Sub-Regional tournament will join Denmark, Italy, Jersey and Germany in the Europe Qualifier next year, as well as the European sides who fail to secure 2024 qualification through the 2022 tournament: Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland.
Youngest Men’s player to score a T20I century
Gustav McKeon – 18y 280d, France v Switzerland, Vantaa, 2022
Hazratullah Zazai – 20y 337d, Afghanistan v Ireland, Dehradun, 2019
Sivakumar Periyalwar – 21y 161d, Romania v Turkey, Ilfov County, 2019
Orchide Tuyisenge, 21y 190d, Rwanda v Seychelles, Kigali, 2021
Dipendra Singh Airee, 22y 68d, Nepal v Malaysia, Kathmandu, 2022