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Preview: Nepal takes on Pakistan for the first time

Topics mentioned in this article
Topics mentioned in this article

The much-anticipated Asia Cup 2023 starts on today (August 30). With Nepal set to appear in their maiden Asia Cup, the whole of Nepal’s eye will be on their Cricket Team.

Nepal will play against Pakistan in the tournament opener at Multan International Cricket Stadium. Nepal is set to play against Pakistan for the very first time. Interestingly, this match will also serve as Nepal’s inaugural appearance in Pakistan’s cricketing landscape.

Team Nepal has played an ODI match against only three Test-playing nations; hence, Pakistan will be their fourth opponent in this category.

Pakistan is coming into the tournament after whitewashing 3-0 against Afghanistan. Nepal also arrived early in Pakistan and trained at Karachi before arriving in Multan.

Where?

The match is set to be played at Multan International Cricket Stadium. Only Ten ODIs have been played here so far. The stadium has a capacity of 30000-35000.

When?

The match starts at 3:00 PM local time, which is 3:45 PM (NST).

Pitch report:

The Multan Cricket Stadium boasts a batting-friendly track and is renowned for favouring batters. The surface is usually dry and flat. At the same time, spinners could gain prominence later in the match and play a significant role.

Weather:

Multan’s weather promises sunny skies and almost no chance of rain, ensuring an uninterrupted match. The temperature should hover around 37 degrees Celsius, with around 49% humidity and a steady 18 Km/hr wind.

What to expect?

The stadium is expected to be a full house, with the home side playing in the tournament opener. Nepal will look to give a tough competition to two-time Asia Cup champions. However, things will not be easy for Nepal against a formidable Pakistani side in a D/N match.

Pakistan has fire-breathing pacers, decent spinners and a good batting line-up to give a headache to Nepal. Nepal has struggled with a good pacer and short-pitched delivery in recent times. Hence, it will be a fire test for Nepal.

Pakistan Playing XI:

A day prior to the match, the host country of the hybrid model tournament revealed their lineup. They selected a trio of fast bowlers—Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf—as well as two spin-bowling allrounders—Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz. Additionally, Salman can contribute with his off-spin skills.

Pakistan’s playing XI: Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah.

Nepal’s Probable XI:

Given the conditions, it will be tough to select Nepal’s XI. Either Bhim or Aarif could miss out on the lineup, as Rajbanshi could be the one featuring.

Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh, Bhim Sharki/Aarif Sheikh, Rohit Paudel, Kushal Malla, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulshan Jha, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lalit Rajbanshi.

ODI Stats and records at Multan Stadium:

  •  Matches Played: 10
  • Won by batting first: 5
  • Won by chasing: 5
  • Pakistan won: 7
  • The visiting team won: 3
  • Highest total: 325/5 (Pakistan)
  • Lowest total: 148 All-out (Zimbabwe)
  • Highest individual score: 127 (Shai Hope)
  • Best bowling figures: 4/19 (Mohammad Nawaz)
cricnepal Staff
cricnepal Staffhttps://cricnepal.com
cricnepal Staff writes the news on National and International cricket.

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