In the first game of the Asia Cup 2023, held in Multan on August 30, Pakistan delivered a strong performance. Babar Azam scored his 19th ODI century, and Iftikhar Ahmed got his first century, helping Pakistan reach a formidable total of 342/6 against Nepal. They batted really well, using a variety of shots like cuts, sweeps, and powerful hits. Babar hit 151 runs from 131 balls, including 14 boundaries and 4 sixes. Iftikhar scored 109 runs from 71 balls, with 11 fours and 4 sixes. Nepal struggled to respond and managed only 104 runs. This gave Pakistan a huge 238-run win to start the Asia Cup.
Early on, Pakistan had some trouble, losing their first two wickets quickly. Fakhar Zaman got caught after a strong shot, and Imam-ul-Haq was run out. Then, Mohammed Rizwan and Babar built a good partnership, with Rizwan hitting most of the boundaries. But they faced a setback when Rizwan couldn’t make it back in time and got out. Agha Salman also got out, leaving Pakistan at 124/4.
Babar, however, didn’t let the pressure get to him. He scored his third consecutive fifty-plus score and got lucky when Nepal dropped him. He used this chance to hit more boundaries and speed up Pakistan’s innings. Iftikhar also played well, hitting quick runs, including a big six. Together, they pushed Pakistan’s score past 300. Babar reached his century, and the team ended with a strong total of 342.
Nepal’s chase started with Kushal Bhurtel hitting a couple of boundaries but getting caught soon after. Paudel got out, and Nepal found themselves in trouble at 14/3. Sompal played well and held the innings together, getting support from Aarif Sheikh. They managed to score some boundaries off the Pakistani bowlers, but the partnership was short-lived. Nepal eventually finished with 104 runs.
Pakistan’s bowlers did a great job. Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab took important wickets, and Shadab finished off the game with two more wickets. Nepal was all out in the 24th over.
In the end, Pakistan’s total of 342 was too much for Nepal, who could only manage 104. Pakistan won by a big margin of 238 runs.