Pakistan started Asia Cup 2023 with a huge win against Nepal in Multan. As a dress rehearsal for ODI CWC 2023, Asia Cup is being held in Indian Sub-Continent as World Cup will be happening in India after 12 years. ACC had to change Pakistan as the only host and Sri Lanka has been added as another host. India did not want to travel to Pakistan due to security issues and ACC took this decision. Nepal has been added to the teams fighting for Asia Cup this time alongside Afghanistan. Pakistan started their tournament against Nepal.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. Nepal bowlers got ball to nip in the earlier hour. They got Imam-ul-Haq(5) and Fakhar Zaman(14) wickets early. Babar Azam got together with Mohammad Rizwan(44) to put a partnership of 86 runs. Iftikhar Ahmed joined Babar Azam and put on 214 runs partnership. Both of them scored centuries to put immense pressure on Nepal inexperienced bowlers in the death overs. Babar Azam scored 151 runs off 131 balls and Iftikhar Ahmed scored 109 runs from 71 balls. Pakistan scored 342/6 in 50 overs with their powerhouse batting prowess. Sompal Kami(2/85) ended up with best figures amongst Nepal bowlers.
Nepal started chase by losing two early wickets in the first over. Sensational Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi got wickets in back-to-back balls in the first over. Later, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf made it even more tough for inexperienced Nepal batters to put on a partnership. Trying to attack and apply pressure back on Pakistan, Nepal batters got out to Shadab Khan. As a result, Nepal bundled out for 104 in 23.4 overs in their chase. Shaheen Shah Afridi(2/27), Haris Rauf(2/16), Naseem Shah(1/17), Mohammad Nawaz(1/13) took wickets along with Shadab Khan(4/27) for Pakistan. Hence, Pak has put up a massive win by 238 runs against Nepal. Babar Azam for his century got Player of the Match award.
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