Multan, August 30
Skipper Babar Azam scored a fantastic 151 runs and Iftikhar Ahmed made his first ODI century as Pakistan won easily against Nepal by 238 runs in the first match of the Asia Cup, played on Wednesday.
Babar and Iftikhar played important roles in helping Pakistan score 342 runs after choosing to bat first.
Babar scored 151 runs from 130 balls. At first, he had a slow start, but then he had two important partnerships. First, he made 86 runs with Mohammad Rizwan, who scored 44 runs. Then, he made 214 runs with Iftikhar for the fifth wicket. This helped Pakistan reach a high score.
Babar hit the ball to the boundary 14 times and hit it over the fence 4 times. Iftikhar hit the ball to the boundary 11 times and hit it over the fence 4 times as well.
Pakistan did not start their innings well because they lost both the openers early.
It was a very challenging task for Nepal, and it ended up being just that.
Kushal Bhurtel had a strong start in Nepal’s chase by hitting two boundaries off Shaheen Shah Afridi’s first two balls. However, his success did not last long as Afridi made a great comeback and took both Bhurtel and Nepal captain Rohit Paudel out in the last two balls of the over.
Then Naseem Shah took an action in the next over and caused Aasif Sheikh to hit the ball outside the field, which was caught by Iftikhar in the first attempt, as Nepal’s score slipped to 14 for 3.
Then Aarif Sheikh (26) and Sompal Karmi tried to stabilize the situation by scoring 59 runs together. But then Haris Rauf managed to get past the defenses of Aarif Sheikh.
Rauf got Sompal out to reduce Nepal’s score to 82 for 5.
Afterward, the players from Nepal kept losing wickets easily and quickly, without putting up a strong fight. In the end, they only managed to score 104 runs in 23.
Babar, Iftikhar power Pakistan to huge win over Nepal in Asia Cup opener
Multan, August 30