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Asia Cup 2022, Group A, Ind vs HK: Rahul & Avesh's form cause of concern as India advance to Super 4

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

Asia Cup 2022, Group A, India vs Hong Kong: Suryakumar Yadav's 68 off 26, Virat Kohli's 59* and Ravindra Jadeja's 1-15 are top performances. India beat Hong Kong by 40 runs and enter Super 4.

Asia Cup 2022, Group B, India vs Hong Kong_ Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav added 98 runs off 42 balls for third wicket _ Walking Wicket (Photos_ ©AFP_Getty Images)
Kohli, SKY added 98 runs off 42 balls for the third wicket (Photos: ©AFP/Getty Images)

Brief Scores: India 192/2 (Suryakumar 68*, Kohli 59*, Ghazanfar 1/19) beat HK 152/5 (Hayat 41, Kinchit 30, Jadeja 1/15) by 40 runs.

Man of the Match: Suryakumar Yadav (Unbeaten 68 runs in 26 balls).

Fresh from the thrilling victory against arch-rivals Pakistan, India locked horns with Hong Kong who were undefeated throughout their three games in the qualifying round, in the fourth game of the Asia Cup 2022 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday evening.

During the 50-over version in the 2018 Asia Cup, Hong Kong gave a close fight to India, who won a high-scoring game by just 26 runs in their last meeting.

Hong Kong captain Nizakat Khan on winning the toss opted to bowl first. While India made one change including Rishabh Pant in place of Hardik Pandya who was rested for the game, Hong Kong retained the same side from the qualifiers.

India qualifies to the super 4s of Asia Cup with comprehensive win

Put into bat first, India lost Rohit Sharma in the fifth over before reaching 39/1 in the powerplay. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli even though stitched up a 56-run stand for the second wicket but came in 49 balls as the former was dismissed on 36 in 39 deliveries. Kohli notched up his half-century but Suryakumar Yadav who blasted a 26-ball 68 brought up an unbeaten partnership of 98 runs in just 42 balls for the third wicket as India raced away to 192/2 in 20 overs.

Hong Kong began well in the powerplay with 51/2 on the board but India kept on drying up the runs besides picking up wickets to reduce them to 78/3 in 15 overs. With the required run rate going almost out of hand, Hong Kong batters free their arms to play some shots at the back end to reach 152/5 in their 20 overs as India with a 40-run victory moved to the ‘Super Four’ stage.

Hong Kong becomes the first associate side to register 150+ score in T20Is against India.

Asia Cup 2022, Group B, India vs Hong Kong_ KL Rahul scores 36 off 39 balls against Hong Kong  _ Walking Wicket (Photos_ ©AFP_Getty Images)
KL Rahul scores 36 off 39 balls against Hong Kong (Photos: ©AFP/Getty Images)

KL Rahul's lack of intent and Avesh Khan's indifference worry India

KL Rahul has played some cold knocks in recent times in different formats of the game. After scores of 1 and 30 in the recent Zimbabwe ODIs, Rahul in India’s opening game against Pakistan in Asia Cup 2022 was dismissed on a first ball duck. He was expected to come in the form in this game but his 39-ball 36 gave India some concerns with the T20 World Cup knocking on the door.

Even in the bowling department, Avesh Khan seems to be the weakest link in the side. He had figures of 3/66 in the lone ODI he played in Zimbabwe before being slapped for 1/19 in two overs against Pakistan. He returned 1/53 in four overs against an easier side like Hong Kong. With Deepak Chahar in the squad, it will be interesting how much patience India show with him.

Both players for the moment are huge elephants in the room for India.

Let’s scan the top three performances from the fourth game between India and Hong Kong Asia Cup 2022

Asia Cup 2022, Group B, India vs Hong Kong_ Suryakumar Yadav 68 of 26 balls at a strike rate of 261.53 against Honk Kong  _ Walking Wicket (Photos_ ©AFP_Getty Images)
Suryakumar gets player of the match for his 68 of 26 balls (Photos: ©AFP/Getty Images)

Top-class Suryakumar Yadav fired up with unbeaten 68 runs in just 26 balls

After a wonderful away T20I series against West Indies, Suryakumar Yadav had a rare off day against Pakistan in India’s opening game. When he walked out in the middle against Hong Kong, India being at 94/2 in 13 overs needed some fire at the backend for a good total.

On his very first delivery, Suryakumar Yadav swept the pitched-up delivery in the vacant deep square leg region for a boundary before playing the same shot behind square for the same result. He shuffled away against Aizaz Khan to open his bat to play the cut shot for a boundary before playing a ramp shot getting into his knees to crack a six over the fine leg region.

When Ayush Shukla came for the 18th over, Sky gathered two back-to-back boundaries; one was hit inside out through the gap between mid-off and cover while the second one was cut away in the third man region. In the fourth ball of the same over, he flicked his wrists to get a maximum over deep mid-wicket.

He nailed for sixes in the last over; the first one came by freeing his arms over sweeper cover as he celebrated a 22-ball half-century with another maximum over the deep extra boundary.

A wild swing and scoop pull provided him two more sixes as Suryakumar Yadav, who now has 758 T20I runs in 25 games finished with 68* in just 26 balls with six boundaries and six maximums. It’s the third time Sky has hit 6+ sixes in a T20I inning which is just behind Rohit Sharma who has done it four times.

Asia Cup 2022, Group B, India vs Hong Kong_ Virat Kohli scores 59 of 44 balls at a strike rate of 134.09 against Honk Kong  _ Walking Wicket (Photos_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Kohli scores 59 of 44 balls at a strike rate of 134.09 vs Honk Kong (Photos: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Virat Kohli made his way to a steady half-century

Virat Kohli, who played a vital knock of 35 runs against Pakistan to the situation of the game, walked out in the fifth over. Kohli just like his normal days with the bat took some time in the middle by hitting the ball in the gaps for those easy singles and doubles to 25 in 24 balls.

In between, he had one boundary that was hammered down the ground using the bottom hand. He smoked one beautiful six over deep mid-wicket before lifting one big drive over the cow corner region for the same result. As Suryakumar Yadav took the center stage, Kohli offered him the most chances besides registering his 31st fifty in the shortest format.

Another six slammed over the cow corner saw Kohli with one solitary boundary and three maximums, finishing with 59* in just 44 balls who now has 3402 T20I runs in 101 games. Kohli now has 46 numbers of 30+ scores which is just behind Martin Guptill (51). With 31 number of 50+ scores (sum of the fifties and hundreds) in T20Is, Kohli joins Rohit Sharma, who has 27 half-centuries and four centuries.

Asia Cup 2022, Group B, India vs Hong Kong_ Ravindra Jadeja takes 1-15 from 4 overs against Hong Kong  _ Walking Wicket (Photos_ ©AFP_Getty Images)
Jadeja takes 1-15 from 4 overs against Hong Kong (Photos: ©AFP/Getty Images)

Jadeja made impact with the ball and with his firing arm

Ravindra Jadeja did an excellent job with the bat in the victory against Pakistan but he displayed the power of his arm in India’s second game.

The last ball of the powerplay was a free hit as Hong Kong captain Nizakat Khan pushed the ball to the backward point and ran for a single only to see Jadeja fire a direct hit to the stumps to find Nizakat short of his stumps.

Jadeja took control of the middle overs when Arshdeep Singha and Avesh Khan were thrown away all over the park; he gave just 15 runs in his four overs besides sending back Babar Hayat who going for a big shot found Avesh Khan at short third man.

With that wicket, Jadeja now has the most wickets (23) for India in Asia Cup history going past Irfan Pathan.

Asia Cup 2022 Points Table

Asia Cup 2022 Points Table
Asia Cup 2022 Points Table

What’s to come

Sri Lanka will face Bangladesh on September 1 at the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai. The winner of the game will join Afghanistan in the Super Four while the loser will return home.

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