Hong Kong beat UAE to qualify for Asia Cup


GB news 24 desk//

Hong Kong, who lost their ODI status earlier this year, have beaten the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the qualifying final in Kuala Lumpur to make it to the Asia Cup main draw. They will now feature alongside India and Pakistan in Group A.

Asked to bat first, UAE put up a more than decent total on the board, their 176 coming mainly thanks to Ashfaq Ahmed’s 51-ball 79 at the top. The match was reduced to 24 overs per side after an unanticipated rain break in the 16th over of the first innings and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the UAE, who were crawling until then. With the game reduced, the UAE batsmen had to up the ante, and they did, scoring 111 runs in the remaining 8.4 overs.

Among the Hong Kong bowlers, Aizaz Khan shone with a five-wicket haul, striking early with the important wicket of Rohan Mustafa. Ashfaq Ahmed fell in the 20th over but Shaiman Anwar and the lower order scored quickly to keep the fight on.

Hong Kong openers got off to a blazing start, with Nizakat Khan (38 off 20) and Anshuman Rath (28 off 25) putting 64 runs for the first wicket in six overs. Nizakat’s wicket off Rohan Mustafa led to a stutter, that saw Hong Kong lose four wickets for 18 runs but Ehsan Khan and Christopher Carter put up a match-defining 53-run stand for the fifth wicket.

With 25 runs needed in three overs, Mohammad Naveed conceded 16 off the 22nd over, which included two sixes, and that all but sealed the game for Hong Kong.

Brief Scores: UAE 176/9 in 24 overs (Ashfaq Ahmed 79; Aizaz Khan 5-28) lost to Hong Kong 179/8 in 23.3 overs (Nizakat Khan 38, Christopher Carter 33; Mohammad Naveed 2-47) by 2 wickets by DLS method.

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