Pakistan thrash Nepal by 238 runs
World number one batter Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed scored punishing hundreds as Pakistan beat Nepal by 238 in the opening game of the Asia Cup in Multan on Wednesday.
Skipper Azam smashed a 131-ball 151 while Ahmed scored an unbeaten 109 in 71 balls for his maiden hundred in Pakistan's 50 overs.
Later, Shadab Khan took four wickets for 27 runs as the Nepal were bowled out for 104 in 23.4 overs.
Nepal, playing in the Asia Cup for the first time, had bowled well to keep the home team down to 124-4 in the 28th over but were clueless in the final overs against the onslaught from Azam and Ahmed.
The pair added a robust 214 runs off 131 balls for the fifth wicket, which brought Pakistan back into the game after Azam won the toss and opted to bat.
Azam cracked 14 boundaries and four sixes while Ahmed hit 11 boundaries and four sixes, helping Pakistan to 129 runs in the last 10 overs including 67 in the final five.
Pakistan lost opener Fakhar Zaman for 14 in the sixth over, while Imam-ul-Haq was run out for five to leave Pakistan tottering at 25-2.
Azam added 86 runs for the third wicket with Mohammad Rizwan (44) before Rizwan was also run out. Agha Salman fell for five, leaving Azam and Ahmed to mount a rescue operation.
Ahmed's previous best ODI score was 94 not out against New Zealand in Karachi this year.
Fast bowler Sompal Kami was the best for Nepal with 2-85.
The Asia Cup is being played on a hybrid model this year with Pakistan hosting four matches and Sri Lanka nine after India refused to tour Pakistan because of political tensions.