Pakistan Dominates Opening Asia Cup Match, Defeats Nepal by 238 Runs
Multan – In a commanding performance, Pakistan trounced Nepal by a staggering margin of 238 runs in the opening match of the Asia Cup held in Multan on Wednesday. Displaying their prowess with both bat and ball, Pakistan showcased their dominance in the Group A encounter.
Batting first, Pakistan set a formidable target of 343 runs for Nepal to chase. The foundation of this imposing total was laid by skipper Babar Azam’s remarkable knock of 151 runs. Babar’s partnership with Iftikhar Ahmed (109 not out) yielded an impressive 214 runs for the fifth wicket, leaving Nepal’s bowlers struggling to contain the onslaught.
In response, Nepal faced a formidable bowling attack led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, who struck twice in the very first over, setting the tone for the rest of the match. Nepal’s batting lineup found itself struggling to cope with Pakistan’s bowling prowess, ultimately being bowled out for a mere 104 runs. Shadab Khan’s exceptional performance earned him figures of 4/27 from his 6.4 overs, while Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf also made significant contributions with their bowling spells.
Despite the challenging circumstances, Aarif Sheikh (26) and Sompal Kami (28) put up a resistance to delay the inevitable, but Nepal’s innings concluded after just 23.4 overs.
Pakistan’s comprehensive victory not only secured them a strong start in the tournament but also provided valuable preparation for their upcoming clash against arch-rivals India. The Pakistan team will now travel to Sri Lanka to face India in a much-anticipated match scheduled to take place in Pallekele.
Reflecting on the match, Babar Azam expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance and its implications for the upcoming fixture against India. “This game was good preparation for the India game because it gave us confidence. We want to give 100 per cent every match, hope to do that there as well,” Babar remarked.
Pakistan: 342/6 in 50 overs (Babar Azam 151, Mohammad Rizwan 44, Iftikhar Ahmed 109 not out; Sompal Kami 2/85)
Nepal: 104 in 23.4 overs (Sompal Kami 28; Shaheen Shah Afridi 2/27, Haris Rauf 2/16, Shadab Khan 4/27)
Result: Pakistan won by 238 runs