Babar Azam scores his 19th ODI century and 2023 Asia Cup’s first ton

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam scored his 19th ODI century as well as the first century in this edition of the Asia Cup against Nepal on Wednesday.

The Pakistan captain took 9 boundaries to reach the milestone as he and veteran batter Iftikhar Ahmed (56) helped the Men in Green to stay on course of a decent total.

Earlier in the match, Babar who stitched an 86-run partnership with keeper Mohammad Rizwan after Pakistan lost both their openers, had to watch helplessly as the latter was run out in a bizarre fashion.

In the 24th over of the match, Rizwan attempted what seemed like a simple single but fielder Dipendra Singh hit the wickets with a direct throw. While approaching the crease, Rizwan did not ground his bat and it looked like he was evading the throw which went on to shutter the stumps. As a result, he was well short of the crease and was run out.

Earlier, Babar won the toss and elected to bat against Nepal. The Pakistan skipper said there is no extra pressure of playing at home and the payers just want to enjoy “our cricket and give our best”.

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Nepal skipper Rohit Paudel said on their Asia Cup debut that his players were happy to be playing on the big stage.

On Tuesday, Babar had said that he was happy that Pakistan team is currently ranked No. 1 in ODI rankings and also a lot of their players are in top-10.

“I needed to take the team to a different level and change mindset. Now, we have at least 3-4 players in top-10 and when you set a standard, there will be expectations and you have to fulfil those expectations. Performances should be such that the team wins,” he added.

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