Asia Cup 2023 – Group A: Pakistan vs Nepal Tips and Betting Preview

The opening match of the Asia Cup sees one of the co-hosts Pakistan getting the competition underway in Multan on Wednesday when they take on the outsiders Nepal in the first game in Group A of the tournament.

Pakistan will have expectations of not just winning this match but going on and winning the whole thing which Nepal will be out to give a good account of themselves and if they can cause a major upset the world will take notice.


I think it is fair to assume that Pakistan will win this match but as far as they are concerned this is the chance to lay a marker down for the competition. Their big match in the group comes next up against India and if they win here they will go into that already into the next stage of the tournament but if they can win it with an emphatic display then it would give them the confidence to really lay down a challenge to India.

The big thing for Pakistan both in this tournament and the outings to come is that there is no discernible weakness. Their squad is that deep that Usama Mir, fresh from a good couple of months in county cricket, can’t get into the side and we know just how strong their batting is, especially in the top three where you would imagine they can get away from Nepal here. Add in home advantage and Pakistan have a lot going for them in this one.


In a lot of ways Nepal won their own Asia Cup when they qualified through to this tournament. Having failed to come through the qualifier for the World Cup, these two matches are as good as it is going to get for them in a while so they will be out to showcase their skills on what is a very big stage. As a team they will want to show what they can do but with franchise events popping up all over the place these days their individuals will hope to catch the eye.

If Nepal are going to cause anything resembling an upset in this match they are going to have to bat very well. They are up against an attack which takes no breaks and keeps coming at teams and if they are not up to the task then they could get shot out for not many. They are going to find it tough with the ball as well but they do at least have a couple of spinners who might be able to restrict the run rate for a period of time.

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Team News

Pakistan have already named their side for this match and they have left out Usama Mir and gone with three seamers in Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah. There is no room in the side for Faheem Ashraf or Mohammad Wasim.

Sompal Kami picked up an injury in the World Cup qualifier that cut his campaign short but he has recovered from that and he is set to take his place in the Nepal attack for this one. Sandeep Lamichhane is still their key man.


I always think when the powerhouses go up against the minnows it is a chance for the true class acts in the bigger side to fill their boots and they come no bigger than Babar Azam for Pakistan. Ominously for Nepal, Babar goes into the match off the back of a good end to the series against Afghanistan earlier in the week where he made scores of 53 and 60 in the last two matches against them to ensure he goes into the Asia Cup in good form.

Earlier in the month, Babar hit a century in the Sri Lanka Premier League so he is clearly hitting the ball well at the minute. We are talking about a player who has an ODI average of 58.44 so a 41.5 runs line doesn’t look nearly high enough for this opening match of the tournament. If there is a question mark it comes in the fact he has never played Nepal before but Pakistan will be under no run rate pressure in this one and so I expect their captain to reach 42 runs before he is done here.


Back B.Azam – Over 41.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365

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