Mohammad Rizwan found himself in an unusual and unexpected situation during Pakistan’s inaugural match of the Asia Cup 2023 against Nepal on Wednesday.
Table of Contents
Early Setbacks in Pakistan’s Asia Cup Campaign Against Nepal
Pakistan’s commencement of the Asia Cup campaign against Nepal on Wednesday wasn’t without its hurdles, as they chose to bat in the tournament’s opening match in Multan. The team encountered an early setback, losing two wickets in rapid succession. Fakhar Zaman and Imam ul Haq both fell early, with Fakhar being caught behind off a delivery from KC Karan, and Imam being run out in the seventh over. Despite these initial challenges, a promising partnership started to develop between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, as both batsmen steadily reached their 40s. However, this partnership came to an abrupt and rather bizarre end due to an unconventional run-out incident that cut Rizwan’s innings short.
In an apparently casual attempt at taking a quick single in the 24th over, Rizwan failed to ground his bat properly as he sprinted. Just as Pakistan was gaining momentum in the match, the game-changing moment emerged when Nepal’s fielder, Dipendra Singh, executed an extraordinary direct hit, swiftly concluding Rizwan’s innings at 44 runs.
Even the commentators were taken aback by the nonchalant running and didn’t hesitate to express their criticism of Rizwan’s lackadaisical approach to running between the wickets on this occasion.
Babar’s Frustration and Rizwan’s Exit: A Moment of Disappointment
During a replay that was shown a few deliveries after the dismissal, Captain Babar Azam could be observed tossing his cap to the ground in frustration as the third umpire confirmed Rizwan’s departure on the large screen.
Prior to this, Babar had chosen to bat in the Asia Cup’s opening match against first-time participants Nepal. Nepal had earned their spot in the tournament earlier in the year by triumphing over the United Arab Emirates in the qualifying final. The Asia Cup holds significant importance as a preparatory platform for teams gearing up for the ODI World Cup scheduled for October-November later in the year.
Pakistan enters the tournament with high spirits following their impressive 3-0 victory over Afghanistan in a recent ODI series. This victory propelled the team led by Babar Azam to the top spot in the ODI rankings. As co-hosts of the Asia Cup, they are considered strong contenders to secure their third title in the history of the tournament. A highly anticipated showdown between arch-rivals India and Pakistan is also on the cards for the 2023 edition, scheduled to take place on September 2 in Kandy.