Two-time champions Pakistan and minnows Hong Kong open their Asia Cup campaign on Sunday with Sarfraz Ahmed’s side aiming to win a third continental title.
The Associate side are featuring in their third Asian Cup after playing in the 2004 and 2008 editions. They will be hoping to put on a good total after captain Anshy Rath won the toss and elected to bat first.
The minnows lost opener Nizakat Khan early in the innings after he was run-out by a direct hit from Shadab Khan. Faheem Ashraf then dealt a big blow to Hong Kong by removing skipper Anshy Rath as the minnows were reduced to 32-2.
Pacer Hasan Ali then got into the action by claiming the wicket of Christopher Carter as Hong Kong’s slide continued. Shadab Khan then bagged two wickets in his very first over as the minnows slumped to 44-5. Since then, Aizaz Khan and Kinchit Shah have started to stitch together a promising stand. Their 53-run stand was finally broken by Usman Khan who castled Aizaz Khan.
That wicket opened the floodgates with two more falling soon after as Hong Kong were reduced to 98-8. The minnows were ultimately bowled out for just 116 runs in the 38th over.
In reply, Pakistan’s openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq have made a steady start and have added 35 runs in seven overs before the interval. The former fell soon after the 40-minute interval after being caught behind off the bowling of Ehsan Khan.
Babar Azam struck a quick-fire 34 before being dismissed as Pakistan coasted to an eight-wicket win.
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