Hong Kong won the toss and decided to bat first against Pakistan in the second match of the Asia Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium , Dubai.
Here is what the captains said:
“Wanted to bat first, but that’s not in our hands. Congrats to Hong Kong, this is a big event for them. Won’t take them lightly, won’t relax. Long tournament, we’ll go match by match. If you see the last match, didn’t see much spin. We’re going in with four pacers and one spinner.”
” We’ll have a bat. We saw the game yesterday. Pitch stayed true throughout. Hoping it will roughen up a bit through the course. No better place to do it than in the Asia Cup. We’re ready, we deserve to be here. Especially on the back of losing ODI status in March. We’ve beaten top teams before, hope we could do it again. It’s more of a confidence thing. After the Qualifiers, a lot of our players have taken confidence. Hopefully we can put runs on the board.”
The second match of this year’s Asia Cup can be rightly called a ‘David v Goliath’ battle. While Pakistan, the defending Champions Trophy winners, are one of the favourites for the tournament, Hong Kong are fighting to get the ODI status. The Men in Green are entering the contest after an impressive summer that saw them win in Ireland, draw a Test series in England, win the T20I tri-series and the ODI series in Zimbabwe. On the other hand, Hong Kong did really well to reach the main tournament after beating Nepal and UAE in the qualifiers.
No surprises then that the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side will be the strong favourites to win the Group B-opener. But Hong Kong can take heart from Pakistan’s knack of coming up with a pedestrian performance every now and then.
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed(w/c), Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan
Nizakat Khan, Anshuman Rath(c), Babar Hayat, Kinchit Shah, Christopher Carter, Ehsan Khan, Aizaz Khan, Scott McKechnie(w), Tanwir Afzal, Ehsan Nawaz, Nadeem Ahmed