With outstanding performance, Pakistan defeated Nepali cricketers by 238 runs in the opening match of the sixteenth edition of the Super-11 Asia Cup Asia Cup 2023 at the Multan Cricket Stadium.
Bowlers Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Shadab Khan crushed the batting line of the opponent team to seal the victory. Hosted by Pakistan, the thrilling tournament is being played by six cricket teams.
It is the first Asia Cup to be held in multiple countries with four matches to be played in Pakistan and the remaining nine matches to be played in Sri Lanka. Chasing a challenging target of 343 runs, Nepal faced an early setback as Kushal Bhurtel was dismissed for eight runs.
For Nepal’s team, the wickets continued to tumble as Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf wreaked havoc with their pace and accuracy. Except Aarif Sheikh, Nepal’s batting line struggled to cope with visible pressure from Pakistani bowlers.
Nepali players struggled to find their rhythm against Shadab Khan who claimed four vital wickets. As a result, Nepal’s innings came to a swift end at 104 runs in 23.4 overs. Earlier, the Pakistani captain led from the front, showcasing his skills with 151 runs from 131 balls.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) August 30, 2023
With 14 boundaries and four sixes, Babar Azam anchored his team’s innings and guided green shirts to a challenging total. Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq were dismissed due to vivid efforts by the Nepali fielders. In this interesting match, Muhammad Rizwan contributed a crucial 44 runs.
Iftikhar Ahmed showed a breathtaking display of power-hitting, smashing an unbeaten 109 runs from 71 balls along with 11 boundaries and four sixes. Its turn to Bangladesh to take on Sri Lanka at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. “We will try to do our best as a match between Pakistan and India is always a high-intensity game,” Babar Azam said in a statement.
Wasim Akram says Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka possess a potential to clinch triumph
“Comprehensive victory. Keep going guys. Both centurions were awesome. Shadab bowled very well too. Overall a great start to Asia Cup,” Shoaib Akhtar said in a message. It is pertinent to mention here that fans are eagerly waiting for the highly-anticipated showdown between Pakistan and India, scheduled for 2 September.
Highlighting uncertainty, legendary cricketer Wasim Akram stated that Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka possessed a potential to clinch triumph on any given day. Except for India, all the teams will play a few games in Pakistan. India refused to travel to Pakistan due to the disapproval from India’s government.
SINGERS SET STAGE ON FIRE
Singers Aima Baig and Trishala Gurung performed during the opening ceremony at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Multan hosted the first match of the Asia Cup as a large number of spectators filled the stadium. In a statement, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that enjoy live fireworks and performances by Aima Baig and Trishala Gurung, followed by the opening match between Pakistan and Nepal.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf
Nepal: Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh (wk), Rohit Paudel (c), Aarif Sheikh, Kushal Malla, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulsan Jha, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lalit Rajbanshi