The match saw several individual and team records being broken during Pakistan’s batting innings.
After winning the toss, Pakistan's captain Babar Azam chose to invite Nepal to the field first on what seemed to be a decent batting pitch.
However, Nepal’s debut in the Asia Cup proved promising as they exhibited disciplined bowling in the initial overs, keeping the scoring rate in check.
Pakistan batting lineup
Nepal’s efforts on the field paid off with the early dismissals of Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq in the sixth and seventh overs respectively. Following these setbacks, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan joined forces to stabilize the Pakistan innings and guide their team past the 100-run mark.
Nepal managed to regain control in the middle overs, taking wickets including that of Rizwan and Salman Agha. However, Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed’s partnership shifted the momentum back in Pakistan’s favor.
The duo combined for an impressive 214-run stand from just 131 balls. This partnership set a new record for Pakistan’s highest fifth-wicket partnership in ODI cricket, surpassing the previous record of 176 runs set by Umar Akmal and Younis Khan against Sri Lanka in 2009.
Babar Azam Briliant Batting
During his innings, Babar Azam reached a milestone by achieving his 19th ODI century in the 42nd over.
With this century, he secured the second position in the list of Pakistan century-makers in ODI cricket, only behind Javed Miandad.
Additionally, Babar’s international century count reached 31, placing him on par with Pakistan legends Javed Miandad and Saeed Anwar.
Babar Azam’s standout performance included a remarkable knock of 151 runs off 131 balls.
This inning not only became his second-highest ODI score but also marked the second-highest individual score in Asia Cup history.
Iftikhar Ahmed Amazing Century in the first Match
Meanwhile, Iftikhar Ahmed also left his mark on the match by achieving his highest score in ODI cricket.
His unbeaten 109 runs came from just 71 balls and also marked his maiden ODI century.
Pakistan’s batting prowess allowed them to finish their innings with a formidable total of 342/6.
The match highlighted Pakistan’s dominant performance and the individual achievements of Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed, setting a positive tone for their Asia Cup campaign.
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