Multan (Web Desk): Pakistan have victoriously kicked off their Asia Cup journey with win against Nepal by a huge margin of 238 run in their first and opening match in the Multan Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
The Green Shirts won the toss and opted to bat first against Nepal, the debutant in the Asia Cup.
While bowling for Pakistan, Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed two, Naseem Shah and Mohammad Nawaz took one, Haris Rauf two and Shadab Khan lead the strike with four wickets in his hand.
Only Sompal Kami (28), Aarif Sheikh (26) and Gulsan Jha (13) made it into double figures as Nepal struggled against Pakistani bowling attack.
In previous inning, Pakistani skipper and world number one batsman Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed scored centuries and brought a double-century partnership as the hosts scored a total of 342-6 in 50 overs against Nepal. Then Pakistani bowling attack led by Shadab Khan with four wickets bowled Nepal out for just 104 runs.
Iftikhar remained unbeaten on 109 runs in 71 balls with the help of 11 fours and four sixes.
Meanwhile, Babar was dismissed after scoring 151 runs in 131 balls which included 14 fours and 4 sixes.
Babar was dropped on 55 when Karan Chhetri put down a caught-and-bowled chance, while Nepal’s ground fielding also often faltered.
Pakistan lost opener Fakhar Zaman for 14 in the sixth over, while Imam-ul-Haq was run out for five to leave Pakistan tottering at 25-2.
Azam added 86 runs for the third wicket, Mohammad Rizwan scored 44 hitting four powerful sixes before Rizwan was also run out. Agha Salman fell for five, leaving Azam and Ahmed to mount a rescue operation.
Ahmed’s previous best ODI score was 94 not out against New Zealand in Karachi this year.
Fast bowler Sompal Kami was the best for Nepal with 2-85.
Fakhar Zaman c Sheikh b Karan 14
Imam ul-Haq run out (Rohit) 5
Babar Azam c (Sub) b Kami 151
Mohammad Rizwan run out Airee 44
Agha Salman c Bhurtel b Lamichhane 5
Iftikhar Ahmed not out 109
Shadab Khan b Kami 4
EXTRAS (LB-1, NB-2, W-7) 10
TOTAL (for six wickets, 50 overs) 342
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-21 (Fakhar), 2-25 (Imam), 3-111 (Rizwan), 4-124 (Salman), 5-338 (Babar), 6-342 (Shadab)
DID NOT BAT: Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf
BOWLING: Kami 10-1 -85-2 (1w), Karan 9-0-54-1 (3w), Jha 4-0-35-0 (3w, 1nb), Rajbanshi 10-0-48-0 (1nb), Lamichhane 10-0-69-1, Airee 6-0-40-0, Bhurtel 1-0-10-0
K. Bhurtel c Rizwan b Shaheen 8
A. Sheikh c Iftikhar b Naseem 5
R. Paudel lbw Shaheen 0
A. Sheikh b Haris 26
S. Kami c Rizwan b Haris 28
G. Jha c Zaman b Shadab 13
D. Singh Airee b Nawaz 3
K. Malla c Iftikhar b Shadab 6
S. Lamichhane b Shadab 0
Karan KC not out 7
L. Rajbanshi lbw Shadab 0
EXTRAS (LB-4, W-4) 8
TOTAL (all out, 23.4 overs) 104
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-10 (Bhurtel), 2-10 (Paudel), 3-14 (Sheikh), 4-73 (Sheikh), 5-82 (Kami), 6-90 (Airee), 7-91 (Jha), 8-91 (Lamichhane), 9-104 (Malla)
BOWLING: Shaheen 5-0-27-2, Naseem 5-0-17-1 (2w), Haris 5-1-16-2 (1w), Shadab 6.4-0-27-4 (1w), Nawaz 2-0-13-1
Umpires: Gaffaney, Masudur
RESULT: Pakistan won by 238 runs.
In the end Pakistani captain Babar Azam was awarded with Player of the match, for his powerful batting performance of 151 runs in 131 balls.