Pakistan and Nepal played the first match of Asia Cup 2023 on 30 August at Multan Cricket Stadium. This match was full of excitement and craze. Things looked pretty flimsy for Pakistan as the match started. But they recovered from it quickly. Props to the Nepal bowlers for containing Pakistan as far as they could.
You are in the right spot if you want to know what happened in the match. We will try to cover the match as much as we can here. We can’t quench your thirst with this article alone. But bear with me. It is going to be a fun ride.
Match details and toss
As far as the toss is concerned, the hosts won the toss, and they chose to bat first. Here are the match details.
|Multan Cricket Stadium|
|Tournament||Asia Cup 2023|
|Match||Pakistan vs Nepal – Match 1|
|Date||30 August 2023|
|Umpires||– Chris Gaffaney |
– Masudur Rahman
|TV Umpire||Langton Rusere|
|Reserve Umpire||Ahmed Shah Pakteen|
|Match Referee||David Boon|
Here is playing 11 from both teams.
|Fakhar Zaman||Kushal Bhurtel|
|Babar Azam||Rohit Paudel|
|Mohammad Rizwan||Aarif Sheikh|
|Agha Salman||Kushal Malla|
|Iftikhar Ahmed||Dipendra Singh Airee|
|Shadab Khan||Gulshan Jha|
|Mohammad Nawaz||Sompal Kami|
|Naseem Shah||Karan KC|
|Shaheen Shah Afridi||Sandeep Lamichhane|
|Haris Rauf||Lalit Rajbanshi|
First Innings – Pakistan 342-6
Pakistan had a flimsy start. Things were looking good from the first over, but it was it. Wickets fell early on with mistakes in the running between the wickets and some mishits. However, Pakistan jumped back quite nicely to put a 343 target for Nepal.
- Early wickets fell as Imam went out for five and Fakhar went out for 14. That was a stupid shot by Fakhar, and it is high time he fixes this issue. He has been throwing away his wicket in a similar fashion a lot.
- Babar and Rizwan came as a ray of hope, giving Pakistan stability. They had a partnership of 86 in 106 balls.
- Soon, Riwan gave away his wicket by getting run out on 44. Agha Salman came to the rescue but couldn’t continue his form from Sri Lanka. He got out on 5 runs.
- Now, it was up to Iftikhar Ahmad and Babar Azam.
- It was an IftiMania show today, as Iftikhar came with a bang. It gave the skipper enough room to build his innings as well.
- The 214-run partnership off of 131 balls between Babar and Iftikhar propelled Pakistan to 342. Babar scored 151, and Iftikhar scored his maiden ton as well. What an inning it was from the hosts.
- Only Lalit Rajbanshi was able to contain Pakistan. The rest of the Nepali bowlers went above the 6 economy rate.
|Babar Azam 151 (131)||Sompal Kami 2-85|
|Iftikhar Ahmad 109 (71)||Karan KC 1-54|
|Mohammad Rizwan 44 (50)||Sandeep Lamichhane 1-69|
Second Innings – Nepal 104-10
It was a lost cause for Nepal since the beginning. Let’s see how things turned out during the match.
- Shaheen and Naseem spearheaded the way and picked up those early wickets. The ball was swinging, a good sign for the Pakistani pacers.
- Unfortunately, the inexperienced Nepali players got caught in the whirlwind of Pakistani pacers.
- Only Aarif, Gulshan, and Sompal crossed the double figures from Nepal’s side.
- Shadab did take those 4 wickets, but it was the pacers who did the majority of the job.
- Lalit was the last man standing, and he fell victim to Shadab’s straighter one. Pakistan managed to win by 238 runs.
|Sompal Kami 28 (46)||Shadab Khan 4-27|
|Aarif Sheikh 26 (38)||Haris Rauf 2-16|
|Gulsan Jha 13 (23)||Shaheen Afridi 2-27|
|RESULT||Pakistan won by 238 runs|
Man of the match
It is quite hard to decide who should be the man of the match. Babar is an obvious choice, but Iftikhar Ahmad played a huge role in taking the team out of the block-hole. Eventually, Babar has become the man of the match. He scored his 19th ODI ton in this match. The 151 runs surely saved the day for Pakistan.