In the opening match of the Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan dominated Nepal, securing a resounding victory by a massive margin of 238 runs. Pakistan chose to bat after winning the toss and put up an imposing total of 342-6 in 50 overs.
Led by their captain Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed, Pakistan’s innings was marked by exceptional centuries. Babar Azam scored 151 runs off 131 balls, comprising 14 fours and four sixes.
Notably, Azam broke the previous record held by Hashim Amla, becoming the fastest player to achieve 19 ODI centuries in just 102 innings, compared to Amla’s 104.
— ICC (@ICC) August 30, 2023
Pakistan initially faced a setback, losing Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq early with the score at 25-2. However, Babar Azam played a pivotal role, forming a crucial 86-run partnership with Mohammad Rizwan before Rizwan was run out in an unusual manner, contributing 44 runs off 50 balls.
Subsequently, Azam teamed up with Iftikhar Ahmed, and together they forged an impressive 214-run partnership in just 131 balls. Iftikhar Ahmed’s unbeaten 109 off 71 deliveries, including 11 fours and four sixes, added to Pakistan’s commanding total.
In response, Nepal struggled against Pakistan’s bowling attack, succumbing to the pressure. Shaheen Shah Afridi made a strong impact by taking two wickets in the opening over, setting the tone for Nepal’s collapse. Shadab Khan’s excellent performance yielded figures of 4/27 from 6.4 overs, while Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf also delivered commendable spells.
Nepal’s batsmen Aarif Sheikh (26) and Sompal Kami (28) attempted to delay the inevitable, but Nepal was eventually bowled out for 104 runs in just 23.4 overs. Pakistan’s comprehensive victory highlighted their dominance in both batting and bowling, setting a formidable start to their Asia Cup campaign.
Nepal: Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh (wk), Rohit Paudel (c), Aarif Sheikh, Kushal Malla, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulsan Jha, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lalit Rajbanshi
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf