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Asia Cup 2022, Group A, Pak vs HK: All-round Pakistan steamroll Hong Kong; advance into Super 4

Asia Cup 2022, Group A, Pakistan vs Hong Kong: Mohammad Rizwan’s 78*(57), Ehsan Khan’s 2/28 and Shadab Khan-Mohammad Nawaz’s combined spell of 7/13 are top performances. Pakistan beat Hong Kong by 155 runs to seal a Super 4 spot.

Asia Cup 2022, Group A, Pakistan vs Hong Kong: Pakistan beat Hong Kong by 155 runs and enter Super 4. Pakistan to play India on 4th Sept (Images: ©PCB/Twitter)
Pakistan to play India on 4th Sept in Super 4 fixture (Images: ©PCB/Twitter)

Brief Scores: Pakistan 193/2 (Mohammad Rizwan 78*, Fakhar Zaman 53, Ehsan Khan 2/28) beat Hong Kong 38 (Shadab Khan 4/8, Mohammad Nawaz 3/5, Naseem Shah 2/7) by 155 runs

Player of the Match: Mohammad Rizwan 78*(57)

Pakistan took on Hong Kong in a must win Group A Asia Cup 2022 game in Sharjah on a hot Friday evening. While Pakistan had lost a thriller in their last fixture against defending champions India by 5 wickets, Hong Kong put a brave fight against the same opponents.

All-round Pakistan put in polished performance to ease through to Super 4

Pakistan after their narrow defeat at the hands of India came as a determined team and put on an all-round show to demolish a hapless looking Hong Kong side to win the game by a whopping 155 runs. This will keep them in good stead as they take on their arch-rivals India in a Super 4 game on Sunday.

Pakistan would be happy that most of the players, both batters and bowlers are peaking at the right time. Top-order batters, Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Rizwan, both scored crucial half-centuries. The team management will feel happy as having them in good form opens bright prospects for the team. Bowlers put on a show in Sharjah for the team, with everyone chipping in to destroy Hong Kong in the manner in which they did.

Pakistan rattle up 193/2 before skittling out Hong Kong for a paltry 38

In this game of high consequence, both sides chose to field the same squad as in the previous match. Hong Kong skipper Nizakat Khan won the toss and opted to field first.

Hong Kong got rich dividends straightway as their lead spinner got the big fish Babar Azam in the 3rd over of the game. But the Hong Kong team didn’t capitalize on the good start they had by letting the duo of Fakhar Zaman (53 off 41) and Mohammad Rizwan (78* off 57) to settle down and then bat with ease.

Both reached their respective half-centuries, and their 116-run stand laid a solid foundation for Khushdil Shah to come all guns blazing. The left-hander struck 5 sixes including four in the final over bowled by Aizaz Khan to take Pakistan to 193/2.

Hong Kong batting innings ended almost immediately as soon as it started. It was a juggernaut of wickets and their innings fell like nine pins. They couldn’t handle the raw pace of Naseem Shah (2/7) and Shahnawaz Dahani in the powerplay overs, and the spin guile of Shadab Khan (4 for 8) and Mohammad Nawaz (3 for 5). Pakistan bundled the Hong Kong innings in under 11 overs for just 38 runs, the latter’s lowest ever T20I total.

Let’s scan the top three performances from the sixth game between Pakistan and Hong Kong, Asia Cup 2022.

Asia Cup 2022, Group A, Pakistan vs Hong Kong_ Mohammad Rizwan gets player of the match against Hong Kong for 78 off 57 _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©Getty Images)
Rizwan gets player of the match against Hong Kong for 78 off 57 (Photo: ©Getty Images)

Mohammad Rizwan extends his good form in T20Is with a 57-ball 78*

Wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan showed why he is the number 2 T20I batter behind his teammate Babar Azam. Rizwan followed the same template that made him super successful in this form of the game with yet another superlative match-winning effort with the bat.

Though he started off slowly like he did in the last game against India, Rizwan picked up pace and took advantage of the inexperienced Hong Kong side, as he made an unbeaten 78 that included 6 fours and a maximum. His 116-run stand with Fakhar Zaman gave Pakistan momentum to finish the innings with a bang.

Asia Cup 2022, Group A, Pakistan vs Hong Kong_ Ehsan Khan takes 2-28 against Pakistan in high scoring game _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©AFP)
Ehsan Khan takes 2-28 against Pakistan in a high scoring game (Images: ©AFP)

Ehsan Khan, the sole shining star for Hong Kong in Sharjah

Babar Azam would have hoped to score a big score against Hong Kong after missing out against India last Sunday. But it remained a dream as the talented off-spinner Ehsan Khan cut short his stay to a mere 8 balls. Babar offered a caught & bowled chance to Khan which the latter gleefully accepted. The off-spinner just gave away 11 runs in the 2 overs he bowled in the powerplay.

Ehsan Khan wasn’t done for the day as he returned in the death overs. With the very first ball of his new spell, he sent back a well-set Fakhar Zaman for 53 and bowled exceptionally well going for only 17 runs in the two death overs. Overall, he finished with a spell of 2/28, a figure any one will take in a high-scoring innings.

Asia Cup 2022, Group A, Pakistan vs Hong Kong_ Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan took 7 wickets for 13 runs against Hong Kong _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©PCB_Twitter)
Nawaz, Shadab took 7 wickets for 13 runs against Hong Kong (Images: ©PCB/Twitter)

Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz take 7/13 between them

The spin twins once again had a great time in the middle with ball in hand. The duo just continued from where their seamers left off. Between the 7th and 11th overs, both the spinners bowled 4.4 overs taking 7 wickets for just 13 runs.

Shadab ended with figures of 4/8 while Nawaz took 3/5 in his two overs. Even in the game against India, Nawaz was Pakistan’s pick of bowlers taking three wickets and Shadab bowled very economically.

Asia Cup 2022 Points Table

Asia Cup 2022 Points Table, Asia Cup 2022 Standings
Asia Cup 2022 Points Table

What’s to Come

The mother of all clashes in cricket will take place on Sunday evening as Pakistan with all the confidence in the world will take on India in the Super 4 fixture. This is sure to be another enthralling contest as the previous one.

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