Asia Cup 2018: Pakistan beat Hong Kong by eight wickets in lop sided contest
Usman Khan took three wickets, while opener Imam-ul-Haq scored an unbeaten 50 as Pakistan got off to a winning start defeating minnows Hong Kong by eight-wicket in their opening group A match of the Asia Cup 2018 in Dubai on Sunday.
Electing to bat first, Hong Kong bundled for a paltry 116 in 37.1 overs as the Pakistan bowlers made merry. Usman returned with figures of 3 for 19, while Shadab Khan (2/31) and Hasan Ali (2/19) chipped in with two wickets each.
Aizaz Khan top scored with 27, while Kinchit Shah made 26. Only four Hong Kong batsman managed to reach double figures, the others being openers Nizakat Khan (13) and Anshuman Rath (19). Their innings never got going and from being reduced to 17/1 in the fifth over, the slide continued through to their entire innings.
Pakistan then reached the target in just 23.4 overs, scoring 120 for the loss of two wickets. Opener Imam was the top scorer with a 69-ball unbeaten 50 that had three fours and a six.
Ehsan Khan of Hong Kong took both the wickets getting Fakhar Zaman (24) and Babar Azam (33) to nick behind to wicket-keeper McKechnie, who made no blunders.
Chasing 117 to win, Pakistan went off to a good start as the opening duo of Imam and Fakhar shared a 41-run partnership in 8 overs for the opening wicket. Then with Fakhar dismissed Babar came to the crease and played some glorious shots. In the process, he also notched up 2000 international runs becoming the joint second fastest after Hasim Amla of South Africa to reach the milestone.
Imam and Babar together added 52 runs for the second wicket but with the latter dismissed, it was Shoaib Malik (9), who hit the winning runs, blasting Aizaz for a boundary in the 24th over to seal an easy win for Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka by a massive 137 runs in the opening encounter of the 2018 Asia Cup. Powered by Mushfiqur Rahim’s 144 and a supportive 63 from Mohammad Mithun, Bangladesh made 261 in 49.3 overs. The bowlers then bundled Sri Lanka for a paltry 124 to round off the victory.
It was an all-round bowling performance from the Bangladeshi bowlers after Rahim’s heroics with the bat. Three of them – Mashrafe Mortaza (25/2), Mustafizur Rahman (20/2), and Mehidy Hasan (21/2) – claimed two wickets each, while the others finished with a wicket each to seal the memorable victory.
Earlier, senior Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal won hearts for his bravery when he turned up to open the innings with a broken hand. He just lasted four balls and retired hurt for an unbeaten two but was enough to give his side the boost they needed as Bangladesh fired in all cylinders.
Image Source: India TV