Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s HIGHLIGHTS of the Pakistan vs Hong Kong Group A match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
PAKISTAN BEAT HONG KONG BY 155 RUNS
Pakistan is through to the Super 4 stage after registering its biggest win in T20Is (in terms of runs) against Hong Kong and it will take on India on Sunday. Pakistan rode on fifties by Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman and a late cameo by Khushdil Shah to set up an imposing 193 for three in 20 overs. Leg-spinner then scalped four wickets to skittle Hong Kong out for just 38 in 10.4 overs. No Hong Kong batter reached double-digits and extras (10) were the biggest source of runs for the team. So, now it is India (A1), Pakistan (A2), Sri Lanka (B1) and Afghanistan (B2) who will battle it out in the Super 4 for the continental title. That’s all for now. Thank you and take care.
OUT! Shadab gets another one. Tossed up, googly, and Ayush swings and misses. Shadab on a hat-trick. Ayush Shukla b Shadab Khan 1(5b). Ghazanfar gets nicely behind the ball and defends the hat-trick ball. Not sure Shadab was aware that it was the hat-trick ball. OUT! Shadab gets his fourth and it’s all over. Ghazanfar is trapped in front as the ball thuds onto the flap of the backpad. Umpire lifts his finger but Hong Kong reviews. It is umpire’s call on impact and clipping off-stump. Hong Kong folds for 38 runs in 10.4 overs and Pakistan marches into the Super 4 with a resounding 155-run win.
OUT! Hong Kong falling apart here. Zeeshan steps out and lofts this straight to the long-on fielder. Nawaz has his third wicket. Shukla in at No. 9. Turning down leg, Shukla misses while trying to turn this down leg and it goes off his pad to leg slip. Driven to cover by Shukla. Shukla off the mark with a single as he pushes this past point. Ehsan defends it back to the bowler.
Shadab continues. Full toss and Arshad almost chips it back to the bowler, who falls in an attempt to take the catch. Zeeshan guides the next one behind point for a single. Turning in and Arshad cuts off the backfoot for one more. OUT! Arshad shuffles across his stumps and misses the scoop behind as the ball rattles his stumps. Ehsan comes in next.
Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz into the attack. Kinchit gets down one knee to sweep but misses. Umpire lifts his finger straightaway for the LBW shout and Kinchit goes upstairs. The decision stands after the review as the ball is to seen to be clipping off-stump. Hong Kong five down. Zeeshan Ali is off the mark straightaway with a single off the inside edge. OUT! Bowled McKechnie between the legs as the batter goes for the sweep and Hong Kong six down now. Arshad the next batter in.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan. OUT! Cleaned him up. Googly, turning into the right-hander, and Aizaz makes room outside off and look to run this to third man and misses. Aizaz Khan b Shadab Khan 1(6b). McKechnie is in next and is off the mark with a couple as he pierces the gap behind point. Cracking sweep shot but food work in the deep at square leg keeps it to just one. End of the over.
Haris Rauf into the attack. FOUR! Kinchit guides this with open face to the third man boundary. Rauf runs in and backs out. Slower one wide outside off and Aizaz misses as the ball stays low. Aizaz ends the over with a single and gets off the mark.
Dahani comes with the ball. Murtaza drives this back to the bowler. Slower one outside off and Murtaza swings and misses. Four dots in a row now as Murtaza drives this straight to mid-on. OUT! Murtaza miscues the pull and mid-off runs in and dives forward to take this. Yasim Murtaza c Khushdil Shah b Shahnawaz Dahani 2(7b). Aizaz comes in next.
Off-spinner Iftikhar into the attack. Two singles off the first two balls. Murtaza punches off the backfoot for one more off the third ball. Flat on off stump and defended back to the bowler off an inside edge. Drifted on the pads and Kinchit misses the flick. Another dot to end the over. Just three runs from the over.
Naseem starts off with a wide down leg again and Rizwan collects it diving to his left. OUT! NIzakat chips this straight to extra cover and Pakistan has an early breakthrough. Nizakat Khan c Asif Ali b Naseem Shah 8(13b 1x4). Hayat in now. Shoulders arms to this length ball wide outside off. A bit of away movement off the pitch and beats Hayat’s poke in the channel. Pushed straight to point this time. OUT! Bowled him. Length ball on top of off and Hayat is cleaned up. Babar Hayat b Naseem Shah 0(4b). Kinchit Shah in at No. 4. Flicked off the pads to midwicket to end the over with a dot.
Dahani from the other end. Full and straight and Nizakat gets behind the line of the ball to defend. FOUR! Full outside off and this is lofted over backward point by Nizakat for a boundary. Length ball outside off and cut away for a couple. Dahani bowls it on the pads and Nizakat whips it behind for two more. Length ball, angling in on the pads and punched by Nizakat for a single at midwicket off the last ball.
Naseem Shah to begin the proceedings for Pakistan with the ball. Six runs from the first over. Naseem Shah concedes five wides off the first ball of the innings.
Aizaz to bowl the final over. Good cutter to Khushdil, who swings and misses. Next one is a slower bouncer and Khushdil misses the attemped uppercut. SIX! Khushdil connects this time as he pulls this slow and short one over deep midwicket for a maximum. FIVE-WIDES! Wide down leg side and this also runs away past the keeper for five extras. Hong Kong throwing away runs here. SIX! Short of a length, angling across, and Khushdil clears deep midwicket with a short-arm jab. SIX! Aizaz comes around the wicket. In the slot, on the stumps and Khushdil picks this up and clears the fence over the bowler’s head. SIX! One more to end the innings as Khushdil swivels and pulls this far over the fine-leg boundary.
Ehsan bowls out. Low full toss and RIzwan flicks it to deep square for a single. In the slot, Khushdil drills this down the long-on but the fielder in the deep keeps it down to a single. Dragged short this time and Rizwan steps out to nudge this on leg side for one more. Yorker length and Khushdil digs it out for a single at cover. Whipped away by Rizwan for a couple at deep midwicket. Rizwan steps out again and clips it off his toes for two more to end the over.
Shukla to bowl the 18th over. Starts off with a wide down leg-side. Anoher one down leg and another extra run. SIX! Full outside off and Khushdil flays this over long-off for a maximum. Slower bouncer but it goes down leg and another wide in the over. Bouncer again, into the body and Khushdil takes his eyes off the ball and pulls it to fine leg for a single. Good running as Rizwan digs this yorker out to midwicket and hares for a couple. FIVE-WIDES! Another one down leg-side and this will hurt HKG as this runs away past the keeper for five extras. Good yorker to end the over.
OUT! Full toss by Ehsan and Fakhar steps out and slices it straight to backward point. Khushdil in now. Gets off the mark with a single off his second ball. FOUR! Babar shuffles across and laps this behind point for four runs.
FOUR! Width outside off by Murtaza and Zaman slaps it to the long-off boundary after making room. SIX! Zaman now steps out and lofts this over deep midwicket for a maximum and gets his fifty off 38 balls. Single to end the over as Zaman gets one off the inside edge.
Ghazanfar with the ball. Rizwan turns this one down leg-side for a couple. Zaman continues to eye that wide long-on fence with his big swipes but keeps finding the fielder in the deep. SIX! And Zaman finally makes the big connection. Slog sweeps this over deep midwicket for a maximum. Pakistan getting a move on here. Single to end the over.
Murtaza is back for his third over. Rizwan stays inside the crease and guides this behind point for a single and that’s his fifty off 42 balls. Fakhar slog sweeps for a couple. The left-hander then steps out to make room outside off but the bowler follows him; just a single down the ground. FOUR! Tossed up on middle and Rizwan sweeps this to the boundary. Hundred up for Pakistan in 13.4 overs. Could this be the over that Pakistan starts to turn things around? Tucked away to deep midwicket for a couple and Rizwan takes a short break due to the heat perhaps. Rizwan ends the over with a single after the break.
Zaman steps out and swings to deep midwicket for just one. Rizwan collects another single next ball. Rizwan gets an inside edge trying to cut and collects a couple as the ball goes behind the keeper. FOUR! Finally a boundary as Rizwan hangs back and cuts this between cover and point and to the boundary. Flicked off the pads for a last-ball single.
Aizaz comes with the ball. This length ball outside off stays low, beats Rizwan’s attempted pull. A review for stumping but Rizwan has his foot planted deep inside the crease. Fuller outside off and whipped away to deep midwicket for a single. Zaman steps out, makes room outside off and guides this behind point for one more. This is down leg-side and keeps low, beating Rizwan flick behind the keeper. Zaman pulls this to deep square for a single and doesn’t connect well. Two singles to end the over.
Ghazanfar with the ball. Zaman steps out and hammers this to long-on for a single. The batters trying to show some intent here but not getting the timing. SIX! Rizwan finally breaks the shackles. Steps out and drills this over the bowler’s head for a maximum. Flicked off the pads with the turn for a single.
Murtaza continues. Three singles off the first three balls. The batters employing the sweep more often now. Six singles from the over and Hong Kong will think it is ahead halfway into the innings.
Ghazanfar into the attack. Rizwan and Zaman still dealing in singles. Just three runs off the first four balls. Rizwan steps out, gets to the pitch of the ball and pummels this to long-on for a single. Zaman gets down to sweep and misses it. This looks straight on and the umpire gives out. However, review confirms that the ball was pitching outside leg and Zaman survives.
Left-arm spinner Yasim Murtaza comes into the attack. very slow outside off and Rizwan stumbles a bit before defending this. FOUR! Flighted on the stumps and Babar sweeps this behind square for a boundary. Slightly flatter on off and pushed to point for a single. Slow and flattish on the stumps and Zaman defends it back. Zaman steps out next ball to punch this on leg side for a single. Inside edge off Rizwan’s blade off the last ball. The ball goes off the thigh after going off the inside edge. The keeper thinks it could be a catch but replay confirms it bounced clearly before going into the keeper’s gloves.
Aizaz with the ball now. Slower one outside off, Rizwan waits a bit before flicking it for one on the leg side. The batters keep finding the fielders. Rizwan plays a cracking drive through the covers but it goes straight to sweeper cover for just a single. A slower bouncer to Zaman and he miscues the pull and only gets a leg-bye. Rizwan pushes this to midwicket and hares for a couple. Width outside off and Rizwan spanks it to sweeper cover for one more.
Ehsan to bowl the last over of the PowerPlay. Zaman steps out and pierces cover and point for a couple. Rizwan looks for a cheeky nudge to third man with open face but misses. He then whips one to deep midwicket for one. Defended back to the bowler and that’s the end of the PowerPlay.
Shukla bowls his second. Back of a length, Rizwan shuffles across the stumps and misses this heave as the ball thuds high on his thigh. A single each for Rizwan and Zaman. FOUR! Width outside off and Rizwan doesn’t miss out. Cuts this through point for a boundary. The keeper comes up to the stumps now. Shukla bowls it wide outside off and this is just under the tramline and Rizwan misses trying to steers this behind square with open face. FOUR! Goes for the same shot and this time beats third man to the boundary.
Arshad back for his second. Wide and full outside off and Zaman drives it straight to extra cover. FOUR! Similar delivery wide outside off but this time the ball goes through the cover for a boundary. This one is too far outside off and will be called wide. Arshad comes from around the wicket now and bowls another wide outside off. The buzzer goes off and it will be a no-ball too. Free hit coming up for Zaman. Arshad comes back from over the wicket to the left-hander and darts a slower one. Zaman swings across the line and misses. Zaman drives this full and wide outside off delivery straight to cover again. Huge change for run out missed as Rizwan darts off for the single and Zaman leaves it to fate and gives up halfway down the pitch. No direct-hit luckily for him. FOUR! Imperious shot for four to end the over by Zaman.
Spin into the attack as Ehsan comes on to bowl. Flighted a bit and driven down to long-on by Babar for a single. Just two runs from the first three balls of this over. FOUR! First boundary of the match. Babar waits for this length ball and pulls this very flat to the backward square leg boundary. OUT! And this is driven straight bat to the bowler by Babar and Ehsan holds on to it. Huge wicket for Hong Kong. Babar Azam c & b Ehsan Khan 9(8b 1x4). Fakhar Zaman flicks this flighted delivery off his toes for a single and gets off the mark.
Ayush Shukla from the other end. Babar drives this full and straight delivery down the ground for a single. A bit of inswing and Rizwan gets a bit of inside edge as he cross-bats this to square leg for a single. One more for Babar with a punch to deep mid wicket. Rizwan drives this well, perhaps the best connection today so far, but straight to cover for another dot ball. Single to third man next ball. Babar flicks it off the pads for a single at deep midwicket. Another tidy over.
Haroon Arshad starts off. Rizwan defends this length ball outside off to cover for a dot ball. Three dots to start with. Rizwan gets off the mark off the fourth ball as he steers a length delivery wide outside off behind point for a single. Babar on strike. Length ball in the channel and Babar defends it back to the bowler, with a bit of the toe end of the bat. A cautious start so far from the openers. This length ball outside off stays low and Babar awkardly pokes it to point for a quick single. Just two runs from the first over.
The Hong Kong players in a huddle. Can they pull off an upset here? We’ll know soon as Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan skip onto the field.
Time for the national anthems in Sharjah. It is Hong Kong’s that plays first. Done with the anthems. Live action soon...
TOSS: Hong Kong wins the toss and elects to bowl. Both teams are unchanged from their previous game.
Pakistan Playing XI: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani.
Hong Kong Playing XI: Nizakat Khan (c), Yasim Murtaza, Babar Hayat, Kinchit Shah, Aizaz Khan, Zeeshan Ali, Scott McKechnie (wk), Haroon Arshad, Ehsan Khan, Ayush Shukla, Mohammad Ghazanfar.
Babar Azam: We would have batted first. We wanted to put runs on the board and put them under pressure. We have the same team.
Nizakat Khan:We are gonna bowl again. We are very good at chasing. We are going to make sure today that we stick to our plans and execute them. Back in Hong Kong, we play on slow, low wickets. This is very similar and we also rely on spin. We bowled well till the 13th over. Today, we have a very good plan and I am sure that the boys will do well. We are going with the same team.
An injury scare for Pakistan ahead of this must-win game?
Who is through to the Super 4?
The third team in Group A, India, has secured a berth in the Super 4 stage of Asia Cup after winning against both Pakistan and Hong Kong in its group fixtures. From Group B, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are the teams who’ve made it to the last four of the tournament.
Pakistan will take on Hong Kong in a Group A game in Sharjah on Friday for a place in the Super 4 round of the Asia Cup. Both teams lost their respective campaign openers against India, which makes this a virtual knockout.
Although Hong Kong lost its first match to India, there were a few positives. Hong Kong had kept India down to only 70 in the first 10 overs with Ehsan Khan and Yasim Murtaza, although wicketless, conceding less than seven runs per over.
Hong Kong’s death bowling is an issue, which was acknowledged by skipper Nizakat Khan. His bowlers leaked 58 runs in the last four overs.
Pakistan endured a similar shortcoming against India after its death bowlers Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf cramped up. Hasan Ali, who has replaced an injured Mohammad Wasim, did not play against India but could get a look-in against Hong Kong.
Hasan was earlier dropped from Pakistan’s squad for the ODI series in the Netherlands and for the Asia Cup after a poor run of form with the ball although skipper Babar Azam, on the eve of India v Pakistan, insisted that “Hasan was not dropped, he was rested.”
Pakistan Squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir, Asif Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Hasan Ali
Hong Kong Squad: Babar Hayat, Mohammad Ghazanfar, Kinchit Shah, Nizakat Khan (c), Aizaz Khan, Yasim Murtaza, Zeeshan Ali, Scott McKechnie, Haroon Arshad, Aftab Hussain, Ehsan Khan, Dhananjay Rao, Ayush Shukla, Wajid Shah, Mohammad Waheed, Ahan Trivedi, Ateeq Iqbal