Nepal lost their first match in Asia Cup 2023. In the opening match on Wednesday, home team Pakistan defeated Nepal by a wide margin of 238 runs at Multan ground.
Chasing the target of 343 runs given by Pakistan, Nepal was bowled out for 104 runs in 23.4 overs. For Nepal, Aarif Sheikh scored 26 runs, Sompal Kami scored 28 runs and Gulsan Jha scored 13 runs. Other batsmen were dismissed without scoring runs in double figures.
In bowling, Pakistan’s Shadab Khan took 4 wickets while Saheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf took 2 wickets each. Before that, Pakistan, who won the toss and batted first, scored 342 runs for the loss of 6 wickets. Captain Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed scored centuries for Pakistan. Babar, who is at the top of the ICC world batsman rankings, scored 151 runs. He hit 14 fours and 4 sixes in 131 balls before being caught by Nepal’s Sompal Kami in the last over.
Similarly, Iftikhar added unbeaten 109 runs. He hit 11 fours and 4 sixes off 71 balls. Babar and Iftikhar shared a partnership of 224 runs for the fifth wicket. Before that, Nepal managed to dismiss both Pakistan openers in the first powerplay. Karan KC scored the first success for Nepal. Karan dismissed Fakhar Zaman for 14 runs through a brilliant catch by wicketkeeper Asif Shaikh. Similarly, captain Rohit Kumar Paudel ran out Imam Ulhaq for 5 runs through a direct hit.
Against the world’s top ranked team, Nepal took 2 wickets in the first powerplay giving away 44 runs. Nepal ran out Mohammad Rizwan for 44 runs in 23.4 overs as the third wicket. He was run out by Dipendra Singh Airee with a direct hit. Sandeep Lamichhane took the fourth wicket for Nepal. He had Salman Ali Agha caught by Kushal Bhurtel for 5 runs. Nepal’s Sompal Kami managed to take 3 wickets in bowling.
Nepal, who is in Group A, will play the last and second match of the group against India on September 4. The match will be played in Sri Lanka. Before that, the next match of this group will be between India and Pakistan on September 2 in Sri Lanka.