Pakistan won their Asia Cup 2018 opener convincingly by eight wickets against Hong Kong on Sunday (September 16). The team members played a fantastic all-round cricket at the Dubai International Stadium in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A lot has happened to make it to the talking points of the sweltering day in the Gulf region.
However, earlier in the day, Hong Kong skipper Anshuman Rath, won the toss and elected to bat first in the second match of the Asia Cup.
The opening pair Nizakat Khan and Rath didn’t put much effort, and they lost their first wicket with 17 runs on the board. However, Hong Kong couldn’t put enough pressure on Pakistan bowlers in the middle.
The inexperienced side started losing their wickets at regular intervals and could only manage to score 55 runs at the end of twenty overs.
Pakistan bowler, Shadab Khan bagged two wickets in his very first over of the match. Meanwhile, Hong Kong middle-order batsman Kinchit Shah and Aizaz Khan added 53 runs for the sixth wicket partnership in the Asia Cup 2018.
After that, wickets continued to tumble. Usman Khan Shinwari bagged three wickets. Meanwhile, Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan picked up two wickets.
Hong Kong manages to score only 116 runs after being rattled in 37.1 overs of the match. However, while chasing down the target, Pakistan lost two wickets, and there was a brilliant knock for the third wicket partnership. Imam scored a half-century, and Eshan Khan only manages to pick up a wicket for his nation.
Later, Imam and Babar Azam played a brilliant knock, and Shoaib Malik alongside Imam ended the match within 23.4 overs. Pakistan won the match in a short span, and they will try to boost up for the next game against India in the Asia Cup.
We take a look at five talking points from the match:
Usman Khan picked up three wickets in the game:
Usman Khan bagged three wickets to his name picking up the wickets of Aizaz Khan, Scott McKechnie, and Tanwir Afzal. Aizaz Khan who was going well with the bat scored 27 runs off 47 balls. He was trying to build up a good score for his team. He tries to defend the ball in a bit awkward manner. However, it pitched on a back of a length channel and outside off-stump, darts back sharply back and finds a hole in his defence to knock off-stump back.
Moreover, Usman Khan dismissed Scott McKechnie, and that was a clear LBW. McKechnie walks too far across the as delivery curves in to do rest of the work.
Usman Khan bowled out Tanwir Afzal. The ball pitches on a back of a length outside off stump and jags back in sharply and without warning to peg back the top of off-stump.
Kinchit Shah and Aizaz Khan builds up a good partnership in the middle:
Hong Kong’s middle-order batsman Kinchit Shah and Aizaz Khan builds up a good partnership in the middle. Hong Kong was in big trouble after they lost their five wickets while they had only 44 runs on the board.
Meanwhile, the duo played some wonderful shots and scored 26 runs and 27 runs respectively. They played some good cricketing shots and extended the score to 97 runs. They added 53 runs for their team. This helped the team to build up the score to 116 runs for Hong Kong.
Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam played a brilliant knock:
Imam-ul Haq and Babar Azam played a brilliant knock of 52 runs for the third wicket partnership. They hold their nerves and try to finish it off in a proper manner. However, Azam failed to do so.
Imam and Azam were playing some brilliant cricketing shots and showering with boundaries and sixes. It was a low target match for the team, but they put some brilliant effort to and put up a good show in the middle.
Eshan Khan picked up two wickets:
Hong Kong off-spinner Ehsan Khan bowls to Pakistan Zaman and Scott McKechnie took a good catch. The umpire waited for an eternity to raise his dreaded finger and he finally did it.
Zaman was looking at his partner for taking the review, and then he decides not to take it in the end.
However, it was a flatter one outside off, Zaman wanted to steer it fine of the short third man. It was too close to attempt that shot. In the end, Zaman was cramped for room, and a fine edge takes it to the keeper. It was a precious moment for Hong Kong team to pick up the first wicket in the Asia Cup.
Ehsan Khan took his second wicket, and this time it is Babar Azam. It was very similar to Zaman’s dismissal. He didn’t get enough width and tried to cut, and Azam paid the price. It was a flat ball just outside off and Azam went back to slap it through point.
However, Azam gets a bottom edge, and McKechnie takes a sharp catch behind the stumps.
Imam-ul-Haq scored an unbeaten half-century:
Imam-ul-Haq played a brilliant knock and scored unbeaten 50 runs off 69 balls. He was looking good with Babar Azam and also added a fifty runs partnership amongst them.