Pakistan will lock horns with Hong Kong in the second match of the Asia Cup 2018. It would bring a perfect opportunity for Pakistan to begin their campaign on a high. On the other hand, it is going to be a good chance for Hong Kong to make the most of their opportunity. Meanwhile, Pakistan has always had a potent bowling line-up and would rely on their bowlers to do the most of the work.

In fact, Pakistan plays most of its cricket in the UAE. Thus, Sarfraz Ahmed led side is familiar with the conditions as well as the pitches. Therefore, they are going to hold the advantage baton.

Asia Cup 2018, Preview, Pakistan vs Hong Kong
Pakistan cricketer Imam-ul-Haq. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Men in Green has also increased in confidence since their triumph of the Champions Trophy. They have played consistently since then as they had a successful tour of Zimbabwe. Consequently, they will look to continue with the impetus.

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On the other hand, it would be a perfect opportunity for Hong Kong to play with the best Asian nations. Hong Kong’s captain Babar Hayat message to his players should be clear. Go out there and express yourself. Enjoy the occasion and don’t take any pressure.

Asia Cup 2018, Preview, Pakistan vs Hong Kong
Sarfraz Ahmed. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

In fact, this is a golden opportunity for Hong Kong to make massive strides. They have nothing to lose and can play with all the freedom. They have beaten other five teams to earn their place in the last six of the Asia Cup. Hong Kong had got the better of UAE in the final of the qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s batting would like to come up with a good performance. Babar Azam is going to hold the key in the middle order. Fakhar Zaman was in great form on the tour of Zimbabwe and would like to give a solid platform to his side with Imam Ul Haq. Shoaib Malik is going to add experience whereas Asif Ali can provide some quick runs.

Asia Cup 2018, UAE, Hong Kong, Pakistan
Hong Kong celebrates a wicket. (credits – Getty)

As far as the bowling is concerned, Pakistan has always had their bases covered. Mohammad Amir will catapult his attack with the new ball. Meanwhile, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Junaid Khan and Hasan Ali will try to apply the pressure in the Asia Cup.

Date and Time: 16 September 2018, 5:00 IST PM.

Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai.

Form Guide:

Pakistan: WWWWW.

Hong Kong: WWWWL (results of Asia Cup qualifiers excluding no result fixture).

Pitch Conditions: Dubai pitch is going to be a paradise for the batsman. Thus, it could be a run-fest if Pakistan bats first.

Weather Conditions: The temperature is going to be around 43 Degree Celsius. Therefore, the players are going to have a hard time on the field.

Pakistan Predicted XI: Imam-Ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (c and wk), Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir.

Hong Kong Predicted XI: Nadeem Ahmed, Aizaz Khan, Ehsan Nawaz, Babar Hayat, Nizakat Khan, Kinchit Shah, Tanwir Afzal, Anshuman Rath (c), Scott McKechnie (wk), Ehsan Khan, Cameron McAulsan.