Pakistan to face minnows Hong Kong in Asia Cricket Cup today

By: News Desk
Published: 11:04 AM, 2 Sep, 2022
Pakistan to face minnows Hong Kong in Asia Cricket Cup today
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Pakistan is scheduled to face minnows Hong Kong in the tonight’s Asia Cricket Cup 2022 encounter. The must-win game, the final match of the group stages, will be played in Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

India has already qualified for final-four from Group A. Pakistan will be the second team to qualify for the next stage if it sustains the winning streak against Hong Kong.

Hong Kong and Pakistan have faced three times in the Asia Cup competitions. Pakistan has stood out triumphant in all three matches. This is a ‘do-or-die’ game for both teams, however Pakistan is hot favourites for the match.

Form guide

Pakistan: LLWWW (Last five recent games)

Hong Kong: LWWWL 

In the Spotlight

Pakistan: Khushdil Shah and Asif Ali are the main hitters for Pakistan. They are best known for hitting sixes in the fourth quarter of the innings. Both players have proved in PSL and previous performances to steal runs through powerful shots in the death overs. Although, the opening pair Babar and Rizwan are always in the limelight because of their recent form and performances. 

Hong Kong: Kinchit Shah, vice-captain of Hong Kong, has just experienced a memorable period in recent times. At the Asia Cup qualifying matches and the Cricket World Cup Challenge Group, the all-rounder showed some promise, scoring 50 against Uganda and 139 against Bermuda, and taking four wickets against Kenya. He scored 30 in 28 balls against India while maintaining consistency, albeit not quite being sensational.

Moreover, things have gone well off the field. He asked his partner to marry him following the game against India. The culmination of Kinchit's happy few days, both personally and professionally, would be a victory versus Pakistan to advance to the next round.

Pitch Report

The event is anticipated to be dominated by overbearingly hot weather, and Friday in Sharjah would not be any different. The slower bowlers have lately proven to do well here, while the hitters may also be tempted by the narrow boundaries.

Team News

Pakistan: The fitness of Naseem Shah is in question, however Mohammad Hasnain would take his place if he were to become unavailable.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong will have been inspired by their performance, particularly with the bat, despite the loss to India. They are predicted to go unchanged against Pakistan.

Possible Playing XIs

Pakistan: (probable): 1 Babar Azam (capt) 2 Mohammad Rizwan (wk) 3 Fakhar Zaman 4 Iftikhar Ahmed 5 Khushdil Shah 6 Shadab Khan 7 Asif Ali 8 Mohammad Nawaz 9 Mohammad Hasnain 10 Haris Rauf 11 Shahnawaz Dahani

Hong Kong: 1 Nizakat Khan (capt) 2 Yasim Murtaza 3 Babar Hayat 4 Kinchit Shah 5 Aizaz Khan 6 Zeeshan Ali 7 Scott McKechnie (wk) 8 Haroon Arshad 9 Ehsan Khan 10 Ayush Shuka 11 Mohammad Ghazanfar

First-ever T20 encounter

Babar Azam will lead Pakistan against Hong Kong in the last group match of T20 Asia Cricket Cup 2022 on Friday (today) in Sharjah, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The event will be the first-ever match between the two teams in the shortest format.

Pakistan's opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are currently placed at the first two spots in the ICC T20 Batters Rankings.

Pakistan is confident of clinching a place in the Super 4 stage of the tournament by defeating Hong Kong, who were beaten by table-toppers India on Wednesday in Dubai.

Pakistan lost a nail-biter against India on Sunday as well.

Fakhar Zaman said: "It was a tight game against India, the morale is high in the camp and all our players are confident of doing better in the upcoming game.

"T20 is a short format which provides an equal opportunity for both teams to showcase their strengths. To aim for the Super 4 we have to ensure we minimise our errors and put up a good show.

"Hong Kong has played good cricket in the qualifiers but we will try to stick to our plans.

"The weather is hot here in UAE but we are trying to keep ourselves hydrated. We'll be playing against some competitive teams in Super 4 and for that we need to be in perfect shape.”

The match will be played at the historical Sharjah Cricket Stadium.