With the likes of Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed’s impressive batting performance in the first match of the Asia Cup 2023 against Nepal, Shadab Khan was excellent at bowling with his four-wicket haul.
Shadab Khan bags four-wicket haul against Nepal
The Asia Cup 2023 started with the inaugural match between Pakistan and Nepal on August 30 where Pakistan had an easy win with a 238-run difference.
The bowling all-rounder Shadab Khan dismissed four low-order batsmen in the match to ensure a quick victory for Pakistan. He had scalped 4 wickets giving 27 runs in 6.4 overs and it was his second four-wicket haul in home ground. He made his ODI debut against West Indies at Providence Stadium on April 07, 2017.
The 24-year-old player had played 6 Tests where he scalped 14 wickets with an average of 36.64 and an economy of 3.23. On playing 60 ODIs for his side, he had scalped a total of 81 wickets with an average of 30.93. He had played 92 T20Is and taken 104 wickets with an average of 22.12. He has five four-wicket hauls and registered his best bowling figure in ODI.
Shadab Khan was happy about the victory and praised Iftikhar for his impressive performance against Nepal. He said, “It was hot out there, but Sri Lanka was hot as well but Sri Lanka was more humid. I can’t talk about Babar because we all know he is a world-class player, Iftikhar has done so much for much whenever he gets the opportunity.”
“He showcased his power hitting really well today. The platform was set up for me by the pacers, Shaheen and Naseem and then Haris Rauf was amazing. The conditions will be different, I have never played there (Pallekele) but let us see. We have confidence in each other and this is the beauty of the Pakistan cricket team.”
On winning the toss, Pakistan captain Babar Azam chose to bat first. But the openers were not impressive as they were sent out on low figures within the completion of the seventh over. With Babar Azam and Rizwan’s Partnership score of 86 runs, Pakistan got back into the competition.
After Mohammad Rizwan and Agha Salman’s dismissal, Iftikhar Ahmed was excellent as he scored his maiden hundred in the ODI on 67 balls. On joining Babar Azam, they had a partnership score of 214 runs in just 131 balls.
Babar Azam had an individual score of 151 runs and was sent out on the last over of their innings. With their impressive partnership, Pakistan was able to keep a huge target of 343 against Nepal.
Unable to fold Pakistan with a low total, Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh opened for Nepal and were sent out with 8 and 5 runs respectively. With captain, Rohit Paudel dismissed with a duck by Shaheen Afridi, Nepal was down to 3 wickets scoring only 14 runs in the 2nd over.
Aarif Sheikh and Sompal Kami had scored 26 and 28 runs respectively and was sent out by Haris Rauf. Nepal batters were not able to withstand the bowling attacks of Pakistan. Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf scalped two wickets each. In the end, Nepal had lost all 10 wickets scoring only 104 runs on 23.4 overs.
Pakistan will be playing their second match against their arch-rivals India on September 2 at Pallekele International Stadium.