Pakistan began their Asia Cup 2018 campaign in grand fashion as they beat minnow Hong Kong by eight wickets at the Dubai International Stadium on September 16 (Sunday).
Meanwhile, Hong Kong got the worst possible start after their skipper Anshuman Rath opted to bat first. Pakistan, known for producing outstanding fast-bowlers seemed too heavy on the debutants.
Although they started their innings on a high smashing Mohammad Amir in the first over, Pakistan soon took hold of the proceedings. However, Faheem Ashraf and Hasan Ali struck back to halt the easy run flow. Since then, it was one-way traffic as Hasan Ali single-handedly reduced Hong Kong to 44 for five in 16.3 overs.
Kinchit Shah and Aizaz Khan tried to rebuild the innings as they took the cautious approach. They added 53 runs for the sixth wicket as Hong Kong looked in line to cross the 100-run mark. But since Usman Khan cleaned the stumps of Aizaz (27), they had no hopes left. Usman cleaned the tail as Hong Kong managed to post only 116 runs at the halfway mark in their first ever Asia Cup match.
For Pakistan, the chase looked like a cakewalk with the star names in their line-up. However, much to everybody’s surprise they took a safety approach to give their batsmen some good batting practice ahead of the game against India.
Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman added 41 runs for the first wicket before Zaman (24) departed.
While Zaman was the aggressor of the two, Imam took his time to settle down. The talented Babar Azam then joined Imam-ul Haq. The duo looked in control, however, Hong Kong’s Ehsan Khan kept posing questions to Pakistani batters. He soon removed Babar Azam (33) while some chances went begging due to some poor decisions.
However, Pakistan saw it through without any further damage Imam remaining unbeaten on 50 runs. They will now square off against arch-rivals India on September 19.
Here is how the Twitter reacted as Pakistan routed Hong Kong from match 2 of the Asia Cup:
My sister is praying for a low scoring match so that she can watch her drama on tv after match because the remote is in my control. 😂 #PAKvHK
— Atif Mughal (@aatifmughal) September 16, 2018
— Mr.C (@KannanMaka) September 16, 2018
What's wrong with Pakistan team. They are not able to finish the match soon…
India team ke against kya hoga inka 😂😂 #AsiaCup2018
— Akhil Gupta 🏏 (@Guptastats92) September 16, 2018
— Proud fan of Lala💕💚🇵🇰 (@afridianalways) September 16, 2018
— Parth Pandit (@imparthpandit) September 16, 2018
— Suneer (@suneerchowdhary) September 16, 2018
— Kiya Parmar (@kiyapag) September 16, 2018
Good to see Former Pakistani Skipper Aamir Sohail taking over the commentary box. Remember how he and his opening partner Saeed Anwar contributed so well for the Pakistani side. I hope Pakistan secures victory over Hong Kong. All the best Team Pakistan! #PAKvHK #AamirSohail
— AM Shahid Latif (Retd) (@AMShahidLatif) September 16, 2018
Whole stadium is empty. Same will happen with Ind vs HK match. #PAKvHK
— Sana Rahman (@SanaRah40486684) September 16, 2018
— Nancy Arora (@Globalkudi_Dil) September 16, 2018
Sorry, that was absolutely PLUMB! It's hit two pads thus two noises. The spikes were AFTER the ball went passed the bat! Interestingly, Rod Tucker (TV Umpire) was on field umpire when HK beat Bangladesh during the World T20 in 2016. Was better that day! #AsiaCup2018 🤦♂️
— Tim Cutler (@timcutler) September 16, 2018
— Sidrah Anwer (@Sidrah_Anwer_) September 16, 2018
This dude has bowled very well. Deserved 3-4 wickets if the umpiring wasn't Garbage #PAKvHK
— #ASIACUP2018 (@cricketfanera) September 16, 2018