In a thrilling start to the Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan demonstrated their batting prowess by posting an imposing total of 342/6 against Nepal in Multan on August 30. Babar Azam’s 19th ODI century and Iftikhar Ahmed’s maiden ton fueled Pakistan’s innings, featuring a record-breaking 214-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Opting to bat, Pakistan’s innings was marked by a stunning array of shots, leaving Nepal with a challenging task. Babar Azam scored 151 runs off 131 balls, including 14 fours and 4 sixes, showcasing his class and consistency. Alongside him, Iftikhar Ahmed impressed with a dynamic 109 runs off 71 balls, featuring 11 fours and 4 sixes.
The Azam-Ahmed partnership proved pivotal, pushing Nepal on the defensive. Nepal’s disciplined bowlers initially contained Pakistan, but the acceleration of Pakistan’s scoring soon put them on the backfoot.
Despite Nepal’s initial efforts, Pakistan’s batting momentum was hard to halt. Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq made steady contributions, but Zaman’s departure and a run-out for Imam-ul-Haq brought setbacks.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan’s partnership with Babar Azam bolstered Pakistan’s innings, with Rizwan showcasing his boundary-scoring prowess against the spinners.
However, their partnership was disrupted by Rizwan’s run-out, followed by Agha Salman’s dismissal at the hands of Sandeep Lamichhane.
Babar Azam’s skillful batting and Iftikhar Ahmed’s aggressive style helped Pakistan’s run-rate surge past 5, amassing 129 runs in the final 10 overs. Pakistan reached a commanding total of 342/6.