Pic credit: Internet
Babar and Iftikhar Score Tons to Post 342/6 in 50 overs
Multan, 30 August: Pakistan skipper and middle-order dasher Iftikhar Ahmed took the Nepalese bowlers to the cleaners in the 2023 Asia Cup opener in Multan on Wednesday, as they beat Nepal by a huge margin of 238 runs.
Babar Azam amassed 151 runs in just 131 balls, laced with 14 fours and four sixes, to help his team post a big total (342) on the board. He was adjudged player of the match.
Iftikhar Ahmed did not disappoint his skipper with an unbeaten knock of 109* in 71 balls. He hit 11 fours and four sixes.
Pakistan opted to bat after winning the toss, but lost both opening batters, Fakhar Zaman (14) and Imam-ul-Haq (5), cheaply. Nepal bowlers bowled a decent line in the first 15 overs to keep the Pakistani batters in check.
Babar Azam took some time to get set while Rizwan contributed 44 runs in 50 balls, stitching an important partnership worth 86 runs with his captain. Both Imam and Rizwan were run out, Fakhar edged the ball behind the stumps while Agha Salman Ali got out playing a reverse sweep.
As Pakistan were reduced to 124-4 in 27.5 overs, Babar and Iftikhar decided to play themselves in and lay a strong foundation before the final assault in the last 12 overs. They forged a 214-run partnership in only 131 balls.
In pursuit of 343-run target, Nepal were never quite in the game. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf intimidated the Nepalese batters with hostile pace while Shadab Khan bowled with guile to claim a 4-fer.
Nepal was bundled out for 104 in 23.4 overs, with only Sompal Kami (28) and Aarif Sheikh (24) making contribution of note.