Pakistan set up a rematch against India after defeating Hong Kong by 155 runs

In the Asia Cup encounter played on Friday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Pakistan’s bowlers defeated a young Hong Kong batting lineup and delivered a 155-run victory, ensuring a position in the Super Four and a rematch with India on Sunday.

After being asked to bat first on a slow and low Sharjah surface, Pakistan reached 193-2 with a stand of 116 between Rizwan (78 not out) and Fakhar Zaman (53).

Then, Pakistan’s spinners Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz combined for seven wickets, dismissing Hong Kong in 10.4 overs to seal the victory by 155 runs.

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It was Hong Kong’s second-lowest Twenty20 international score ever, after their 69 against Nepal in 2014. Pakistan, who had bowled out West Indies for 60 in 2018, had the lowest.

Round two of the six-team event features Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Sri Lanka. This competition serves as a warm-up for the T20 World Cup, which will be held in Australia in October/November.

In the third over of the Hong Kong innings, pace bowler Naseem Shah took two wickets, including the team’s captain, Nizakat Khan, for eight runs.

Hong Kong, who advanced to the main draw by sweeping all three qualifying matches, ultimately lost.

Using his leg spin, Shadab posted figures of 4-8, while Nawaz’s left-arm orthodox bowling was responsible for three wickets.

Rizwan witnessed the non-end striker’s blitz as Khushdil Shah blasted five sixes in his undefeated 35 off 15 balls, four of which came in the final.

With precise line and length, Hong Kong’s bowlers contained the Pakistan openers, and spinner Ehsan Khan took a crucial wicket by dismissing Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, for nine runs in the third over.

After Azam scored a four off Ehsan’s off-spin, the bowler quickly got his own back by catching him batting, which quieted the pro-Pakistan crowd.

The innings were rebuilt when wicketkeeper-batsman Rizwan teamed up with the left-handed Fakhar.

After facing 42 balls, Rizwan got to fifty, and the crowd went wild.

Fakhar shifted gears and joined him, hitting a magnificent six off Murtaza’s left-arm spin on the way to his fifty. However, he was out to Ehsan in the next over, having batted for 41 deliveries.

The innings culminated with Khushdil hammering the opposition bowling for three consecutive sixes.

On Saturday, Afghanistan will play Sri Lanka in the first Super Four match, and on Sunday, India will play Pakistan in a rematch of their earlier tournament meeting.

Pakistan’s lineup: (from left to right) Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Babar Azam (captain).

To represent Hong Kong, the team included Nizakat Khan (captain), Babar Hayat, Yasim Murtaza, Kinchit Shah, Scott McKechnie (wk), Haroon Arshad, Aizaz Khan, Zeeshan Ali, Ehsan Khan, Ayush Shukla, and Mohammad Ghazanfar.