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Pakistan’s Dominant Performance Crushes Nepal in Asia Cup Opener by 238 Runs

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Pakistan launched their Asia Cup campaign with a resounding victory, outclassing Nepal by a massive margin of 238 runs in the tournament opener held in Multan. The match showcased a stellar all-round performance by Pakistan, highlighted by centuries from captain Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed, as well as fiery bowling spells by Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf.

Opting to bat first, Pakistan set the stage ablaze by amassing an imposing total of 342/6 against Nepal. Captain Babar Azam led from the front, notching an exceptional knock of 151 runs, while Iftikhar Ahmed unleashed an unbeaten 109 to bolster Pakistan’s innings. Their partnership paved the way for an emphatic score despite the early dismissals of Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq.

The Pakistani openers were swiftly removed for 14 and 5 runs respectively, but Babar and Rizwan’s partnership helped steady the ship. Their partnership of 86 runs was ended by a run-out, as Rizwan departed after contributing a vital 44 runs. Pakistan found themselves at 124/4, with Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane accounting for Agha Salman.

Babar Azam’s sensational century, his 19th in ODIs, propelled Pakistan to new heights, while Iftikhar Ahmed’s aggressive play complemented the run rate. Iftikhar’s dynamic half-century in just 42 balls energized the innings, and Babar’s subsequent century, achieved in 109 balls, solidified Pakistan’s dominance.

Babar’s aggressive approach saw him smashing boundaries, and Iftikhar’s onslaught brought Pakistan to the 250-run mark. The duo’s relentless attack in the late overs propelled Pakistan to a formidable score of 342/6. Babar’s 150 off 131 balls, making him the first captain to achieve such a milestone in the Asia Cup, showcased his extraordinary skill.

Nepal’s bowling lineup, led by Sompal Kami, Karan KC, and Sandeep Lamichhane, tried to curtail Pakistan’s assault, but the home team’s aggressive intent prevailed. Pakistan’s innings concluded at 342/6, setting a challenging target for Nepal.

In response, Nepal faced an early onslaught from Pakistan’s bowlers, with Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan, and Haris Rauf delivering fiery spells. Nepal’s chase faltered as they lost wickets in quick succession, with Shadab Khan securing four crucial wickets and Haris Rauf contributing two.

Nepal’s resistance crumbled under Pakistan’s consistent bowling pressure, and they were eventually bowled out for 104 runs, handing Pakistan a commanding victory by 238 runs. Shadab Khan’s remarkable figures of 4/27, coupled with the combined efforts of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Mohammad Nawaz, showcased Pakistan’s formidable bowling prowess.

Brief score:

Pakistan 342/6 (Babar Azam 151, Iftikhar Ahmed 109*, Sompal Kami 2-85)

Nepal: 104 (Sompal Kami 28, Aarif Sheikh 26, Shadab Khan 4/27).