Asia Cup 2023 begins in Multan with comfortable win for Pakistan

Kumail Shah

Pakistan is finally hosting the Asia Cup 2023, a major cricket tournament on home soil after years. The tournament commences today, August 30th, with an exquisite opening ceremony in Multan, the city of Saints.

Singer Aima Baig represented the host country, while Nepali singer Trishna Gurung showcased the colors of Nepali culture in the stadium with a beautiful white wardrobe. Pakistan bagged a comfortable win against the Nepali side after beating them with 238 runs.

The mighty Pakistani side leaps to the top spot in the World ODI (One Day International) ranking after whitewashing Afghanistan in the ODI series earlier in August. The opening match became fruitful for the host team as they comfortably scored 342 with a loss of 6 wickets.

Captain Babar Azam, being the player of the match, scored a sensational 151(131), which contributed to a grand total. The skipper also broke Africa’s former batsman Hashim Amla’s record of scoring 19 centuries in just 102 ODI innings, a feat Amla achieved in 104 matches. The Pakistan captain also scored his 18th century in just 97 innings, becoming the first to do so in under 100 innings.

Moreover, Iftikhar Ahmed scored the maiden century of his career. The two racked up a 214-run partnership, making it the highest fifth-wicket partnership for Pakistan. It seems as if records follow Babar Azam whenever he dons the green shirt.

“We faced a little hurdle at the beginning of the match. The fast bowlers made a great start to the innings,” says the Pakistani skipper in a post-match interview. The vice-captain of Pakistan, Shadab Khan, sent four Nepali batters to the pavilion. Haris Rauf and Shaheen Shah Afridi took two wickets each. Meanwhile, Naseem Shah and Muhammad Nawaz bowled out one batsman each.


READ MORE: Asia Cup 2023: Exciting Start and Tournament Overview

The Nepali Batters couldn’t stand much against the mighty Pakistani bowling line-up. The visitors were all out after scoring 104 runs. Batter Sompal Kami scored the highest runs of 28 (46) and Arif Sheikh 26 (36).

A quartet of matches is set for Pakistan, while Sri Lanka will host the remaining nine, including the pivotal final. Unlike the alternating T20 and ODI formats since 2016, the 2023 edition of the Asia Cup will embrace a 50-over format. This adjustment aims to provide participating teams with optimal preparation for the impending World Cup, which is scheduled to unfold in India later this year.

In the 50-over format, India emerges as the defending champions of the Asia Cup, securing the title in the previous 2018 edition. With captivating performances promised by Aima Baig and Trishala Gurung, the opening ceremony of Asia Cup 2023 is poised to become a memorable spectacle.

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