Experience the thrilling start of Asia Cup 2023 as Pakistan sets the stage on fire! Don't miss the action-packed moments.
BangboxOnline (Sports Desk) 31 August 2023. Pakistan won the inaugural match of Asia Cup 2023 with a huge margin of 238 runs on 30 August 2023. The Match was held in the Sufi Saints city of Multan, Pakistan. The Asia Cup is the only continental cricket championship and the winning team becomes the champion of Asia. The First Asia Cup was held in 1984 in UAE after the establishment of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in 1983. ACC promulgated the Asia Cup to promote goodwill among the member countries. It was originally designed to be a One Day (50 Overs) International format; however, the International Cricket Council (ICC) ruled out that Asia Cup events from 2016 onward would be played on a rotation basis between One Day International and Twenty20 International formats. Therefore, the 2016 event was the first event played in the T20 format. Asia Cup 2023 is being played in 50 overs one day format. The 2023 Asia Cup is the 16th edition of the Asia Cup. Originally, the tournament was scheduled to take place in 2021, but it was postponed to 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This tournament was scheduled to be held in Pakistan, however due to political reasons; India refused to play in Pakistan (the Indian refusal is against the basic spirits of the ACC and Asia Cup). Therefore, this Asia Cup is being jointly hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It is the first Asia Cup to be held in multiple countries with four matches to be played in Pakistan and the remaining nine matches will be played in Sri Lanka. The five full members of the Asian Cricket Council are part of the tournament: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. They were joined by Nepal, who qualified by winning the 2023 ACC Men's Premier Cup. Sri Lanka is the defending champions as were the champions in the last tournament on T20 Format. India is the defending champions of the 50-over Asia Cup, which was last held in 2018. The tournament’s participating teams are gobbled into two groups of three teams in each group. This is a huge progress over the first tournament when only three teams, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka played the round-robin league. Nepal is playing its first tournament. South Asia has become a real powerhouse of International Cricket. The battle for Asian Cricket Champion kicked off yesterday with a colorful event; as a duo of renowned singers Aima Baig of Pakistan and the Nepalese Trishala Gurung performed at the opening ceremony at the Multan Cricket Stadium.
The Pakistan cricket team had a memorable start to their Asia Cup 2023 campaign. Pakistan team led by Babar Azam sent a tick to the arch-rivals with the perfect preparation for the India vs. Pakistan clash. In the match against Nepal, Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat first and then ticked all the right boxes as Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed stitched a record stand. Babar Azam smashed 151 in 131 balls consisting of 14 fours and four sixes while Iftikhar Ahmed smashed his maiden century, ending unbeaten on 109 in 71 balls, with 11 fours and four sixes. Pakistan, opting to bat first, put on 342/6 in their 50 overs. Pakistan lost opener Fakhar Zaman Earl and Babar came into bat. Nepal kept the pressure on with the new ball. Imam-ul-Haq was run out and the scoreboard read 24/2/. Babar was joined by his most trusted ally Mohammad Rizwan at the other end as the experienced duo absorbed the early pressure and started to build the innings. Babar lost Rizwan due to a bizarre run-out and Agha Salman lasted only 14 balls with a reverse sweep shot. Babar (151 off 130) was involved in two crucial partnerships after a sedate start — first stitching 86 runs with Mohammad Rizwan (44 off 50) and then sharing a whirlwind 214 runs for the fifth wicket with Iftikhar (109 not out off 71 balls) — to take Pakistan to an imposing total. Together, the duo added 214 runs for the fifth wicket. It is the third-highest partnership for any wicket in ODI Asia Cup history. This is also the highest fifth-wicket partnership in Asia Cup history. Inspirational skipper Babar Azam managed many records during the innings played yesterday as he confirmed his place among the list of all-time greats with a superb individual century against Nepal. Babar stroked a magnificent 151 from just 131 deliveries and in the process went past South Africa great Hashim Amla and became the quickest player in the history of the game to score 19 ODI centuries. Babar did it in 102 ODI innings against Amla's previous best mark of 104 innings. Babur's 151 was also the 2nd highest score at the Asia Cup, only bettered by Virat Kohli's 183 against Pakistan in 2012. It was the first time a captain had scored 150 or greater at an Asia Cup, beating the previous best from a skipper when Kohli compiled 136 against Bangladesh in 2014. In the chase, Nepal was left at 14/3 initially by a usual burst of fiery spells from the formidable face bowlers of Pakistan. But a 59-run stand between Aarif Sheikh (26) and Sompal Kami (28) helped them get some temporary respite. But Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan caused more destruction, sinking Nepal to a 238-run loss after bundling them out for 104 in 23.4 overs. Shadab Khan took 4 wickets. The Nepalese team has a good outing with the master players which will give them morale-boasting confidence in the next match and future encounters with other teams. However, a good team always makes note of mistakes even after a huge margin win. There were two run-outs in the match for Pakistan. The Rizwan’s run out was very ordinary and he along with his bat was in the air avoiding a throw hit and costing his wicket. Pakistan plays the next match on 02 September at Pallekele Sri Lanka against its arch-rival India. The cricket match between India and Pakistan has assumed the real clash of titan status as no other sporting event draws the interest and crowd across the globe from about two billion people of the region. Remain in touch with this site for more exciting news coming from experts of the game.