The Pakistan Cricket Team started the Asia Cup with a resounding 238 runs victory over debutants Nepal played at Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan on 30th August 2023. It was a superb bowling effort by the Pakistan bowling line-up. Shaheen Shah Afridi got the team off to a flying start with two wickets in the first over to rattle Nepal’s batting lineup before Naseem Shah took the third wicket quickly.
Arif Sheikh and Sompal Kami looked impressive with his bowling not allowing them to settle. Haris Rauf produced a lovely delivery to dismiss Aarif Sheikh. Aarif Sheikh and Kami added 59 runs for the 4th wicket. Rauf struck once again getting rid of Kami with a good catch by Mohammed Rizwan. Shahbad Khan and Mohammad Nawaz kept picking wickets at regular intervals making life tough for inexperienced Nepal side.
Shahbad Khan dismissed Gulsan Jha with a stunning catch by Fakhar Zaman. He then dismissed Sandeep Lammichhane, and Kushal Malla as Iftikhar Ahmed took a jumping catch at mid-off. Shahbad Khan finished off the innings getting rid of Lalit Rajbanshi to bowl out Nepal for 104 in 23.4 overs. It was a comprehensive performance by Pakistan bowlers. Shahbad Khan was the pick of bowlers with 4 for 27 in 6.4 overs, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf grabbing 2 wickets each, Naseem Shah and Nawaz finished with 1 wicket each.
For his 151, Babar Azam was named as the player of the match award. Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and decided to bat first. It was not an ideal start as Fakhar Zaman was caught by Aasif Sheikh. Imam was run out while taking a single with a throw from Nepal captain Rohit Paudel. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steadied the ship keeping scoreboard ticking before Rizwan was run out by a good throw by Airee.
Babar and Rizwan added 86 runs for the 3rd wicket. Salman Ali Agha also went cheaply with a decent catch by Bhurtel to leave Pakistan in trouble. Babar Azam and Ifkthitar Ahmed steadied the ship putting on record 214 runs partnership for the 5th wicket. Pakistan captain Babar was eventually dismissed for 151 in the final over. Pakistan posted 342 for 6 in 50 overs.
Here is how Twitterati reacted:
Pakistan have taken care of business, as good team do👍🏼. Nepal will be better for the experience.
— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) August 30, 2023
Iftikhar Ahmed is a completely different batter when he has considerable overs to bat in ODIs. Came in 28th over today and scored a 67-ball 100 (joint-fifth fastest for Pakistan). Came in 19th over against NZ and scored 94 not out off 72 balls. Genuine middle-order batter.
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) August 30, 2023
— Nawaz 🇵🇰 (@Rnawaz31888) August 30, 2023
— ying U (@statpad_R) August 30, 2023
— Shahzaib Ali 🇵🇰 (@DSBcricket) August 30, 2023
Pakistan win the opener against Nepal , dominant win of 238😍 pic.twitter.com/23GnxhL1ve
— ZaiNii💚 (@ZainAli_16) August 30, 2023
MS Dhoni's practice session>tinpot Pakistan matches pic.twitter.com/X6h6wh0NRC
— 𝐒𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐲𝐚𝐬𝐌𝐒𝐃𝐢𝐚𝐧™ (@Itzshreyas07) August 30, 2023
The only way Nepal can win this game against Pakistan today 🤥🇳🇵🇵🇰 pic.twitter.com/7QEe8rOqoP
— Troll Football (Parody) (@Troll_Fotballl) August 30, 2023