In the first Group-A encounter of the Men’s ODI Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat against Nepal at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
This match holds significance as it marks the debuts of Nepal as a team and Multan as a venue in the continental tournament. Additionally, it represents the inaugural face-off between Pakistan and Nepal at the highest level of the sport.
The ambiance at the picturesque Multan Cricket Stadium is set to be electric for this Wednesday clash. Both teams can expect fervent support from the cricket enthusiasts in Multan. The fans will be treated to an engaging opening ceremony before the match commences at 1430 PKT time.
Pakistan’s most recent experience in Multan in this format was in June of the previous year when they clinched a resounding 3-0 series victory against the West Indies. The team has participated in 10 ODIs here and secured victories in seven.
Expressing his excitement about the upcoming contest, Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam remarked, “Playing in front of the passionate Multan crowd is always a fantastic experience, and we’re all thrilled that the Asia Cup is commencing in this city. I extend my congratulations to Nepal for qualifying for the Asia Cup, and I hope their participation will contribute to the growth of the sport in their country. We’re looking forward to facing Nepal, and I’m confident it will be a compelling competition.”
Pakistan enters the Asia Cup with the wind in its sails. Following a 3-0 clean sweep over Afghanistan in Sri Lanka, they ascended to the top of the ICC rankings for ODI teams last Saturday. This is the second time the team has reached this pinnacle since April. Pakistan also boasts the best win/loss ratio of 2.750, having secured victory in 22 out of 31 matches in this World Cup cycle.
The team’s success has spanned various formats, both at home and abroad. They leveled the T20 International series 2-2 and clinched the five-match ODI series 4-1 against New Zealand in April-May. In July, they swept Sri Lanka in a two-Test series in Sri Lanka, and this month, they triumphed over Afghanistan 3-0 in ODIs, also in Sri Lanka.
Pakistan is scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka on August 31 to face India in the second Group-A match on September 2 in Kandy. The same venue will also host the third and final match of the group, pitting India against Nepal, on September 4.