Match summary: A walk in the park for Pakistan
Sharjah: Hong Kong slumped to a heavy 155-run defeat against Pakistan in the final Group A game of the DP World Asia Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday (September 2). The win helped Pakistan enter the Super 4 phase, which starts in Sharjah on Saturday, with Afghanistan facing off against Sri Lanka.
Chasing Pakistan’s mammoth 193, Hong Kong capitulated to 38, unable to handle the pace and spin of the Pakistan bowlers. The Associate nation lost two wickets in the third over as Naseem Shah worked up a tidy pace. Fellow pacemen Shahnawaz Dahani struck in the fifth over and Hong Kong went into a tailspin as leggie Shadab Khan and left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz came into the attack. The two shared seven wickets.
Hong Kong captain admitted his team made several costly lapses after bowling tightly earlier. “The pitch was difficult to bat on, and we played some poor shots also. The Pakistan bowlers were pacier, and the batters found it difficult to handle,” he said.
Referring to the 150-plus score against India, Khan said the Dubai wicket was easier. “As international players, we have to adjust to different pitches, but unfortunately, we could not,” he said. “Regular matches with the full members of the International Cricket Council can help us improve,” Khan added.
Earlier, opting to field first, the inexperience of Hong Kong came to the fore as their bowling unravelled after keeping the Pakistan batters quiet for the better part of the innings. Khushdil Shah slammed a 15-ball 35 that included four sixes in the last over bowled by Aizaz Khan. The last three balls sailed over the fence as Khan conceded 29 runs in the overs. Khushdil shared an unbroken 64-run third wicket stand with Mohammad Rizwan Rizwan (78 off 57 balls).
The stand provided the much-needed thrust as Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman (53 off 41) were cautious in adding 116 for the second wicket after the early dismissal of skipper Babar Azam. Zaman’s exit bought Khushdil to the crease, and the Hong Kong bowling came apart.
In the post-match press conference, Rizwan said the wicket was different, and we had to assess the surface to put up a good score. “These days, even scores around 45 in the powerplay is good enough,” he said.
Hong Kong crashed to a massive 155-run defeat against Pakistan, who sealed the second Group A berth in the Super 4 phase of the DP World Asia Cup game at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium tonight (September 2).
Chasing Pakistan’s mammoth 193, Hong Kong capitulated to 38, unable to handle the pace and spin of the Pakistan bowlers. Spinners Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz shared seven wickets.
Hong Kong collapse in a heap
Chasing a stiff target of 194 for a win, Hong Kong collapsed against Pakistan in the powerplay, struggling to 25/3. They found the pace of Naseem Shah (two wickets) and Shahnawaz Dahani too hot to handle. And Pakistan vice-captain Shadab Khan struck with the second ball of his spell, and Hong Kong are 29/4 in 7 overs.
Khushdil’s quickfire 35 lifts Pakistan to 193
The inexperience of Hong Kong shone through for the second match in succession. They had kept the Pakistan scoring tight for the better part of the match after opting to bowl first in the final Group A match of the DP World Asia Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday. September 2). But Pakistan upped the scoring in the second half of the game and the slog overs to finish with a winning score of 193/2 in 20 overs.
Khushdil Shah slammed a 15-ball 35 that included four sixes in the last over bowled by Aizaz Khan. The last three balls sailed over the fence as Khan conceded 29 runs in the overs. Shah shared an unbroken 64-run third wicket stand with Mohammad Rizwan (78 off 57 balls)
On a slow wicket, Hong Kong spinners tied down the batters after off spinner Ehsan Khan dismissed Pakistan skipper Babar Azam cheaply. But Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman (53 off 41) added 116 for the second wicket, pushing the scoring rate after 10 overs. Zaman’s dismissal bought Khushdil to the crease, and Hong Kong had no answer to his blitzkrieg.
Pakistan post 193/2 in 20 overs
Khushdil Shah slammed a quickfire 35 (15 balls), with four sixes in the last over as Pakistan finished with a winning score of 193/2 in 20 overs. Shah and Mohammad Rizwan (78 not out) added an unbeaten 64 runs for the third wicket.
Pakistan shrugs off the shackles
Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman broke free from the Hong Kong spinners’ grip and stepped up the scoring. With a run rate of around 11 in the last five overs, the two batsmen completed their half centuries before Zaman (53) was caught at point off a persevering off-break bowler Ehsan Khan. Pakistan are 138/2 off 17 overs
Hong Kong spinners keep a lid on scoring
Scoring hasn’t been easy for Pakistan, as Hong Kong spinners kept a tidy length on a slow pitch. Batters Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman haven’t been able to score freely against left-arm spinner Yasim Murtaza and leggie Mohammad Ghazanfar. At the halfway mark of 10 overs, Pakistan are 64/1. They have wickets in hand and that should give them the confidence to launch the final assault.
Pakistan are off to a sedate start
Pakistan have cautiously negotiated the powerplay, scoring 40 for the loss of captain Babar Azam, against Hong Kong in the final Group A game of the DP World Asia Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Hong Kong bowlers have bowled tight lines on a slow wicket, and Azam’s departure was a setback.
But the arrival of Fakhar Zaman upped the scoring as he launched into some smooth drives. That rubbed off on Mohammad Rizwan, who also started to find the boundaries.
Hong Kong won the toss and elected to field
Both teams are unchanged.
Hong Kong: 1 Nizakat Khan (capt), 2 Babar Hayat, 3 Yasim Murtaza, 4 Kinchit Shah, 5 Scott McKechnie (wk), 6 Haroon Arshad, 7 Aizaz Khan, 8 Zeeshan Ali, 9 Ehsan Khan, 10 Ayush Shukla, 11 Mohammad Ghazanfar
Pakistan: 1 Babar Azam (capt), 2 Mohammad Rizwan (wk) 3, Fakhar Zaman, 4 Iftikhar Ahmed, 5 Khushdil Shah, 6 Asif Ali, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Naseem Shah, 10 Haris Rauf, 11 Shahnawaz Dahani
Pakistan should win with ease
Hong Kong gave a good account of themselves in the loss against India, but that won’t be enough to upset Pakistan at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium today (September 2). Babar Azam’s team packs too much power for minnows Hong Kong to nurture hopes of an upset win. So Pakistan should waltz into the Super 4 phase easily.
Pakistan’s batting, led by Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, will be keen to get back into the groove ahead of bigger matches. So they would use the Hong Kong game to run into form. But Hong Kong bowlers showed India that they are no pushovers before the floodgates opened in the slog overs.
Hong Kong’s batting looked brittle, except for Babar Hayat and Kinchit Shah. They will have serious challenges in the form of pace and spin from Pakistan. It will be another learning experience for them.