Published on: Sep 03, 2022
Pakistan confirmed their place in the Super 4 round of the Asia Cup 2022, defeating qualifiers Hong Kong by 155 runs in match number six of the group stage on Friday (September 2) in Sharjah. Sent into bat after losing the toss, Pakistan overcame a slow start and put up a highly competitive 193 for 2 on the board.
Mohammad Rizwan top-scored for Pakistan with an unbeaten 78 off 57 balls. He hit only six fours and a six, but ran hard between the wickets. Fakhar Zaman contributed 53 off 41, while Khushdil Shah clubbed an unbeaten 35 off 15. His knock included five sixes, four of which came in the last over of the innings.
In response, Hong Kong were bundled out for their lowest T20I score of 38 in 10.4 overs. Not a single Hong Kong batter reached double figures as spinners Shadab Khan claimed 4 for 8 and Mohammad Nawaz 3 for 5. The 155-run is Pakistan’s best in T20Is in terms of runs.
Speaking after the win, Pakistan captain Babar Azam said that the batters weren’t able to get their shots away initially. He stated that their usual plan is for batters at the top to play through the innings. He said, “Our plan is for batters at the top to play at the end. Becomes easier for those coming in. (On the bowling) Naseem (Shah) and Shahnawaz (Dahani) are performing really well having made debuts very recently.”
Player of the Match Rizwan added that it is very important to assess the conditions and play accordingly. He said, “Our effort is to forget the format and assess conditions. Plan in the first 10 overs was to play with straight bat. Ball was keeping low. Being the main player, you have to take responsibility. You look at what the team demands.”
Hong Kong captain Nizakat Khan admitted his batters were poor with the willow. He commented, “Lots of learning from these two games. Must give credit to Pakistan. Their bowling was phenomenal. Our shot making was poor.”
With their thumping win, Pakistan also sealed their spot in the Super 4 of the Asia Cup 2022.
–By A Cricket Correspondent