Pakistan pummels Nepal in Asia Cup opener

Topics mentioned in this article
Topics mentioned in this article

The 2023 Asia Cup-50 over one-day international opener between favourites Pakistan and minnows Nepal played in Multan, Pakistan, went as per the script on Wednesday.

As expected, the home team virtually bulldozed hapless Nepal on their way to a massive 238-run victory. The margin of victory speaks volumes of Pakistan’s total domination and the one-sided nature of the match.

Although Pakistan’s victory was a foregone conclusion, nobody expected the fixture to pan out the way it did at the end of the day. It was a cakewalk for the Pakistanis, who dominated the proceedings in every department of the game without breaking a sweat.

The winners batted and bowled effortlessly throughout their runaway victory. The opposition’s high-quality performance proved too much to handle for Nepal. Obviously, they lacked the mental toughness and performance to play under pressure and caved in ultimately.

It was a match they would like to forget. Agreed that they were outplayed by the highly superior opponent, but it was a below-par performance. They were nowhere near their best and surrendered meekly.

Pakistan’s decision to bat first after winning the toss paid dividends. They amassed a massive 342/ 6 in 50 overs with the help of two centuries from Babar Azam(151) and Iftikhar Ahmed(109 not out).

The two centurions demolished Nepal’s toothless bowling attack. The partnership between the two yielded 214 runs for the fifth wicket.

Nepal got off to a surprisingly good start, picking up two quick wickets. At that stage of the game, it seemed unlikely that Pakistan would end up scoring 300-plus runs.

Sloppy fielding and a raft of dropped catches proved their undoing. In the last 15 overs, the bowlers were totally lost as they came under fierce assault from the marauding batters.

Nepal faced an improbable run chase, and defeat was imminent. Given the batting vulnerability and the opponent’s quality bowling attack, the target was out of reach.

From Nepal’s perspective, the only interest that remained in the match was how close they would get to the total?

Much to our disappointment, what we witnessed was a batting debacle. By and large, it was a spineless and irresponsible batting performance. They collapsed like a house of cards.

The innings folded up in 23.4 overs with 104 runs on the board. Aarif Sheikh was the sole recognized batter with a double-digit score (26 runs).

Medium-fast pacer Sompal Kami produced an all-round performance by topping both bowling (2 wickets) and batting (28 runs).

Once again, the top-order batters not only struggled but failed miserably. A combination of lack of focus, commitment and confidence, coupled with technical flaws, weak mindset, rash shots, and poor judgment, contributed to their downfall.

The repeated failures of batters is a huge concern for Nepal moving forward. The inconsistency in batting is a major hindrance to their progress in international cricket.

Batting must improve in order for the team to be on the right track sooner or later. Otherwise, more ignominious defeats will come their way.

Batting must improve in order for the team to be on the right track sooner or later. Otherwise, more ignominious defeats will come their way.

Sushil Thapa
Sushil Thapahttps://cricnepal.com
Sushil Thapa is a Contributor Writer for Cricnepal.com and a Nepali Cricket fan from Fairfax, Virginia. He is a sports enthusiast. You can also follow him @sthapa40 on Twitter.

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