Pitch and weather: Multan hosted all three ODIs during West Indies’ tour of Pakistan last year. All three matches produced 250-plus first-innings scores, with Pakistan chasing down 306 in the first ODI. The top three wicket-takers in that series were Nawaz, Shadab and Akeal Hosein, and if conditions play similarly, spinners can expect to play a significant role again. The weather is expected to be hot and dry, with temperatures reaching the high 30s (Celsius).
Pakistan vs Nepal Asia Cup Highlights 2023, Wednesday 30-8-2023, 1st Match, Group A (D/N), Multan Cricket Stadium.
Babar says it’s a dry, shiny wicket. So, they’ll bat first. Says there are confident with their team, so they announced their XI yesterday. No extra pressure, just want to enjoy our cricket and give our best.
Rohit Paudel says players and people happy as it’s their first Asia Cup game. Most things are similar. We are used to these conditions, it’s a beautiful wicket to bat on. Bowling combination: Sandeep Lamichhane, Sompal Kami, Lalit Rajabanshi, Karan KC.
Toss: Pakistan will bat first.
Pakistan team: Fakhar, Imam, Babar (capt), Rizwan (wk), Salman, Iftikhar, Shadab, Nawaz, Shaheen, Naseem, Haris.
Nepal team: Kushal, Aasif †, Rohit (c), Aarif, Malla, Dipendra, Gulsan, Sompal, Karan, Sandeep, Lalit.
Head to Head In ODI’s: 0
Pakistan Won: 0
Nepal Won: 0
Pakistan ODI Rankings: 1st
Nepal ODI Rankings: 15th
(last five completed ODI’s, most recent first)
Match Timings: 9:30 AM GMT | 2:30 PM Local
Umpires – Chris Gaffaney, Masudur Rahman
TV Umpire – Langton Rusere
Match Referee – David Boon
Reserve Umpire – Ahmed Shah Pakteen
Match number – ODI no. 4628
Rohit Paudel: We started well. We restricted them to under 240 with the ball but let ourselves down with the bat. Wicket-taking balls weren’t there in the middle overs, credit goes to Babar and their team as well. Learning from the game is we need to improve in the death overs, and we need to do well with the ball.
Babar Azam POTM: (On the phases of his innings) When I went in, I played myself in for a couple of balls. Ball wasn’t coming on, pitch was two-paced. Rizwan and I built a partnership and see what happened. Then, there were different phases. Sometimes, Rizwan gave me confidence and vice-versa. When Iftikhar came, we played different cricket.
He can struggle a bit before he gets set. I asked him to play his natural game. After two-three fours, he was comfortable. He smacked it after 40 overs. (On bowling performance) I’m satisfied. A couple of overs we were not up to the mark. Pacers started well, spinners struck too. This game was good preparation for the India game because it gave us confidence. We want to give 100% every match, hope to do that there as well.