It isn't easy to be an associate team in the Asia Cup. Always put in a first round group with India and Pakistan their role is ostensibly to get out of the way quickly so that there can be a second India v Pakistan game in the Super Four stage. But despite that role, the associate side in the tournament always tries to be competitive.

Captains Babar Azam and Rohit Paudel at the Toss (©ACC)

That wasn't the case for Nepal today as they took on Pakistan - technically the tournament hosts although most matches are taking place in Sri Lanka due to India's refusal to play in Pakistan. They started well, removing openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq within the first seven overs with only 25 on the board when the second wicket fell.

But a 86 run partnership between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan got things back on track for the home team before the latter was run out for 44. Number five Agha Salman added just five before he was dismissed by Sandeep Lamichhane, able to play in this tournament after his trial for raping a minor was conveniently postponed.

Azam was then joined by Iftikhar Ahmed and the pair put on a mammoth 224 run partnership in just 22 overs. The partnership ended three balls from the end when Sompal Kami removed Azam for 151, whilst Ahmed finished unbeaten on 109 from 71 balls. Kami took another wicket with the final ball of the innings to finish with figures of 2-85.

Nepal quickly found themselves on the back foot with two wickets coming in the first over of their reply and a third in the second over. A partnership of 69 between Aarif Sheikh and Sompal Kami - the latter batting higher than usual at number five breifly offered promise with Sheikh scoring 26 and Kami contributing 28.

But from 73-3 the wickets came rapidly as they collapsed to 104 all out, losing by 238 runs. Shadab Khan was the pick of the bowlers with 4-27.

Both teams now travel to Sri Lanka to play India. Pakistan do so on Saturday whilst Nepal will have to wait until Monday for their first opportunity against the country that borders them on three sides.