Hong Kong exits the Asia cup contest but with grace

Hong Kong exits the Asia cup contest but with grace

After Sri Lanka’s exit after three days of the competition, Hong Kong‘s departure followed on Tuesday. But the enormous difference in the effort put in by both teams was quite evident. Both teams performed poorly in their first respective matches in the Asia Cup. Sri Lanka remained consistent on that front even in their second match and were knocked out by their opponents with ease. Hong Kong, on the other hand, made a remarkable comeback in their second game against India. Not only did they maintain grace throughout the game, but also at one point stirred in a fear amongst Indian fans that the minnows might just outshine the second best ODI team in the world.

Sri Lanka’s Poor Performance

In their first match, Sri Lanka got ripped apart with Bangladesh registering their highest ODI win away from home. With Mushfiqur Rahim producing his greatest ODI innings ever, Bangladesh was led to a 137-run victory. Rahim scored 144 off 150 deliveries, hitting 11 fours and 6 sixes. The total put up by Bangladesh was 261 with Malinga securing four wickets but the Sri Lankan batsmen could only manage 124 in 35.2 overs, none of the batsmen could go beyond the score of 30.

Hong Kong exits the Asia cup contest but with grace
Thisara Perera’s five-wicket haul against Afghanistan was rendered futile in the end.

Against Afghanistan, the exact same story was repeated by the Sri Lankan players. Thisara Perera bagged a five-wicket haul, more wickets towards the end of the innings, only to restrict Afghanistan to a total of 249. The batsmen failed to defend the score in the exact same way as in the previous match and were bowled out for 158. It was one bowler show versus a collective display of bowling effort with the latter winning the show on both occasions.

Hong Kong’s Fight Back

Hong Kong lost their first match to Pakistan and extremely feeble with only managing a total of 116 runs. Pakistan lost only two wickets, both picked by spinner Ehsan Khan, on their way to transcend that score in a matter of 23.4 overs. Hong Kong lost to Pakistan by 8 wickets.

But that’s worthy of notice, the way they graced into their second match and almost came close to winning a game against India. Despite opener Shikhar Dhawan scoring his hundred, the bowlers of Hong Kong collectively restricted the Indian team to 285/7 letting them score only 40 odd runs in the last 10 overs. Hong Kong displayed a gutsy show of batting right from the start of the second innings of the match.

India finally got their breakthrough when Kuldeep uprooted the captain of Hong Kong in the 34th over. With Anshuman Rath’s(73) departure, Nizakat Khan’s(92) exit followed. India were back in the game with two wickets in two overs and there was no looking back. Debutant Khaleel Ahmed bagged three wickets, so did Yuzvendra Chahal, while Kuldeep Yadav picked up two. The rest of the batsmen couldn’t compete with the momentum in India’s grasp and Hong were 259/8 at the end of 50 overs. 

Results- Sri Lanka:

September 15 vs  Bangladesh, Dubai International Stadium- Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by 137 runs.

September 17 vs Afghanistan, Sheikh Zayed Stadium – Afghnanistan beat Sri Lanka by 91 runs.

Results- Hong Kong:

September 16 vs Pakistan, Dubai International Stadium- Pakistan beat Hong Kong by 8 wickets.

September 18 vs India, Dubai International Stadium- India beat Hong Kong by 26 runs.

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Asia Cup Group A: India Pakistan Match Review

Pakistan cruise past Hong Kong in their opening encounter

Pakistan beat Hong Kong by 8 wickets in a one-sided affair in the Group A encounter of the Asia Cup in Dubai on Sunday. Electing to bat first, Hong Kong bundled out for paltry 116 runs in 37.1 overs. Pakistan’s opener Imam Ul Haq hit an unbeaten fifty to chase down the target in 23.4 overs.

                                                         

Pakistani bowlers produced clinical spells to dismiss the Hong Kong batsmen. Seamer Usman Khan picked up 3/19 and emerged as the highest wicket-taker. Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali picked up two wickets each and Faheem Ashraf took one wicket as they exposed Hong Kong’s weakness. Hong Kong qualified for the tournament after they won the Asia Cup qualifiers.

Though Pakistan had a first easy win in the tournament, the top order maintained intensity throughout the innings. They played proper cricketing shots and didn’t rush towards the win. The Hong Kong bowlers also played well but were unlucky with a couple of lbw shouts against in-form Imam who was fortunate to survive. Ehsan Khan was the top performer for the associate team picking up the two opposition wickets. Fakhar Zaman edged Khan’s delivery to the wicketkeeper early on in the innings and Babar Azam fell in the same fashion. Azam’s 36-ball 33 ensured that he became the joint second fastest batsman to get to 2000 ODI runs. It took him 45 matches. Only Hashim Amla has taken fewer matches (40) than him to get to that milestone.

Right at the beginning of the match, Mohammed Amir was whipped for 11 runs in the first over. It seemed like Hong Kong will make it a competitive game. But, after that Pakistan showed their superiority in every ball. Hong Kong batsmen fell in clumps with only one meaningful partnership between Kinchit Shah and Aizaz Khan. They shared a 53 run sixth-wicket partnership without which Hong Kong would have struggled to get to three figures.

But Usman Khan who also won the man of the match decimated the lower order. He picked up three wickets in one over to decimate Hong Kong’s dreams of a competitive score. But, he limped out of the field in the 33rd over of the game and Pakistan would hope that he would be okay to take the field against arch-rivals India.

Hong Kong squad for Asia Cup announced, here’s the probable first XI

Hong Kong’s squad for Asia Cup has been announced. Here’s a look at the squad and the probable first XI for the contest. 

 

Hong Kong has been clubbed with India and Pakistan in the same group for the starter of the Asia Cup. They will begin their campaign on September 16, against Pakistan. The Indian team, the last one to arrive at the UAE will take on Hong Kong in their first Asia Cup game on September 18. Let’s look at the squads for Hong so far.

Hong Kong’s squad for Asia Cup Qualifiers:

Babar Hayat, Anshuman Rath( Captain), Tanwir Afzal, Nadeem Ahmed, Haroon Arshad, Chris Carter, Aizaz Khan, Ehsan Khan, Nizakat Khan, Waqas Khan, Cameron McAuslan, Scott McKechnie, Ehsan Nawaz, Kinchit Shah, Jhatha Subramanyan. 

Hong Kong’s squad for Asia Cup: 

 Anshuman Rath(c), Aizaz Khan, Babar Hayat, Cameron McAulsan, Christopher Carter, Ehsan Khan, Ehsan Nawaz, Arshad Mohammad, Kinchit Shah, Nadeem Ahmed, Raag Kapur, Scott McKechnie, Tanveer Ahmed, Tanwir Afzal, Waqas Khan, Aftab Hussain

News on the Hong Kong Cricket Team

Image result for anshuman rath
Captain of the Hong Kong Cricket Team, Angshuman Rath.

Hong Kong, along with five other teams (Nepal, Oman, Singapore, Malaysia, and UAE) battled out in the 2018 Asia Cup qualifiers for a place in the main contest. They had started off with a defeat against Malaysia in their first qualifiers match. However, Hong Kong never looked back and did not face another defeat and made their way into the Asia Cup after defeating UAE in the final of the Qualifiers. The 20-year-old Anshuman Rath has been named as captain of Hong Kong squad.

As we know, Hong Kong had lost their One-Day International status after a poor campaign in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. And according to the rules, since Hong Kong have lost their ODI status the matches they play won’t be considered as ODIs. There was significant criticism when some matches at the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe earlier this year were not given ODI status. That led to a confusing mix of classifications for fixtures during the event and included the scenario where the Netherlands, who joined the 16-team ODI rankings after the tournament, was not playing ODIs in the qualifiers. However, the BCCI, along with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) had placed a request with the ICC. As per which the two matches involving Hong Kong should be officially considered as ODIs. The board has apparently agreed to the terms and entertained the request. Therefore, all matches in the Asia Cup will be One-Day Internationals.

 

Hong Kong’s Probable XI:

 

Player Name

Batsman/Bowler/All-rounder

Anshuman Rath ©

Wicket keeper

Aizaz Khan

All-rounder

Babar Hayat

Batsman

Christopher Carter

Wicket keeper

Ehsan Khan

Bowler

Ehsan Nawaz

Bowler

Nadeem Ahmed

Bowler

Nizakat Khan

All-rounder

Tanveer Ahmed

Bowler

Tanwir Afzal

All-rounder

Waqas Khan

Batsman

Asia Cup 2018: The Indian team won’t be travelling to Abu Dhabi

Asia Cup 2018: The Indian team won't be travelling to Abu Dhabi

The much anticipated Asia Cup commences on the 15th of September. While India will start its Asia Cup campaign for this year a little late, on September 18th. The other five teams will start on Saturday and will be reaching soon to Abu Dhabi.

The Asia Cup contest will start off with Bangladesh facing Sri Lanka on Saturday. On the other hand, India might be the last team to arrive at the venue. With few of their players still in England participating in the ongoing Test series, India will play their first match on September 18th. Previously, all the teams were booked at the InterContinental but now those have been canceled for the Indian team. The defending champions will be taking on Hong Kong- the latest addition to contest. 

Hong Kong’s matches against Pakistan and India to achieve ODI status

Hong Kong lost their One-Day International status after a poor campaign in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. However, four months later they defeated UAE in the qualifiers to make their way into the Asia Cup. Now, Hong Kong have been allied with India and Pakistan in one group. They’re set to begin their campaign against Pakistan on September 16th. But since Hong Kong have lost their ODI status the matches they play, won’t be considered as ODIs. 

Hong Kong are set to begin their campaign against Pakistan on Sunday.

However, the BCCI, along with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) had placed a request with the ICC. As per which the two matches involving Hong Kong should be officially considered as ODIs. The board has apparently agreed to the terms and entertained the request.

The Indian team to get host privileges

Since they’re the hosts, the Indian players will savor exclusive privileges during the tournament. Earlier, India was supposed to host the tournament. But then Pakistan refused to play in India and the Asia Cricket Council (ACC) had to shift the competition to the UAE. 

The Men in Blue’s base has been shifted to Dubai while the other five teams will stay in a different hotel. The Indian players will be accommodated in the Grand Hyatt in Dubai and all their matches will also take place in the same city. The entire contest will be hosted across two grounds- Dubai International Stadium, and the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. India will not be traveling to Abu Dhabi throughout the series. Perhaps, if they reach the semi-finals, it has been agreed upon that the semi-final involving India will be played in Dubai. The final is anyway supposed to be held in Dubai itself, scheduled to be played on September 28.

Asia Cup 2018: Schedule and the favourites to win the tournament

The six-team Asia Cup tournament will be held in UAE beginning on September 15. Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are placed in Group A along with Hong Kong, who won the Asia Cup Qualifiers on Thursday. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan are put together in Group B. In the group stages, each team will play one match against the other two teams. Top two teams from each group will advance to the Super four stage. The top two finishers of the Super four will face each other for the trophy.

Here is the schedule of the tournament:

Date

Group

Teams

Venue

15 Sep B Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Dubai
16 Sep A Pakistan vs Hong Kong Dubai
17 Sep B Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Abu Dhabi
18 Sep A India vs Hong Kong Dubai
19 Sep A India vs Pakistan Dubai
20 Sep B Bangladesh vs Afghanistan Abu Dhabi
21 Sep Super 4 India vs Bangladesh Dubai
21 Sep Super 4 Pakistan vs Afghanistan Abu Dhabi
23 Sep Super 4 India vs Pakistan Dubai
23 Sep Super 4 Afghanistan vs Bangladesh Abu Dhabi
25 Sep Super 4 India vs Afghanistan Dubai
26 Sep Super 4 Pakistan vs Bangladesh Abu Dhabi
28 Sep Final Top two teams from Super 4 Dubai

Group A encounters

India enters the tournament as favorites even with Virat Kohli’s absence. India has a rather easy first match with Hong Kong on September 18 which will warm up the side for its next day match against Pakistan. India have won the ODI format of the tournament five times.

Despite their middle order woes, India is a strong team with a fiery bowling unit of pacers and spinners. Rohit Sharma, one of India’s best ODI batsmen, will look to continue his bolstering run making capabilities. Though India comes to the tournament after a Test series defeat against England, the number two ranked ODI side will look to win the ODI tournament for the sixth time.

Pakistan has won the tournament twice and will have the ‘home’ advantage in UAE. Pakistan will face India for the first time since last year’s Champions Trophy final in England which Pakistan won after securing a massive 180 run victory. Fakhar Zaman and Hasan Ali starred in that game with bat and ball respectively and might feel that confidence kick in when they take on India again on September 19.

In the group A, it is easy to pick the top two teams which will advance to the Super four – India and Pakistan, which means the subcontinent will see two intense matches. Both teams can also feature in the final if they win their respective Super four encounters. India and Pakistan have never faced each other in the tournament’s final.

Group B encounters

Sri Lanka, who has won the tournament five times, will be led by all-rounder Angelo Matthews. They have the advantage of Lasith Malinga’s inclusion in the squad who has three five-wicket hauls in the tournament – the most for any bowler. Though he has been amiss in the side for a long time, he will be ready to redeem his stature as one of Sri Lanka’s lethal bowlers.

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will face serious competition from Afghanistan’s star spinners Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi. Afghanistan has slowly risen up the ranks to become a serious contender. They beat Bangladesh 3-0 in a T20I series in India earlier in the year. They also thrashed Ireland 2-1 in the recently concluded ODI series. Afghanistan does have the ability to pull off great upsets and are a team to watch out for.

Bangladesh enters the contest on a high of winning the ODI series 2-1 against West Indies. The Tigers led by Mushrafe Mortaza might lack the services of seasoned Shakib Al Hassan who is suffering from a finger injury. They don’t possess a star-studded batting line-up but can bank on Tamim Iqbal – their best batsman in the format. In Mustafizur Rehman and Mehedi Hassan, they can hope to get some firepower in their bowling line-up.

Looking at the squads, India and Pakistan stand out as favorites for the top prize this year.