Hong Kong opt to bowl against Pakistan in must-win Asia Cup T20 match in Sharjah


Babar Azam (R) shakes hand with his Hong Kong counterpart Nizakat Khan while they arrive for toss at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday. AFP

Hong Kong skipper Nizakat Khan won the toss and elected to field first against Pakistan in a must-win Asia Cup Twenty20 international for both the teams on Friday.

The winner will seal the last remaining spot of the Super Four stage while the loser goes out of the six-nation tournament that acts as a tune-up to the T20 World Cup in October-November in Australia.

Pakistan and Hong Kong lost their respective opening match to India, who made the next round from Group A.

Hong Kong, an associate cricket nation who made a respectable 152-5 while chasing 193 against India in their previous match, come in unchanged at Sharjah International Cricket Stadium.

“We are very good at chasing. We are going to make sure today that we stick to our plans and execute them,” the Pakistan-born Nizakat said at the toss.

“Back in Hong Kong, we play on slow, low wickets. This is very similar and we also rely on spin.”

Pakistan, led by Babar Azam, lost a close first match to India and will be looking to make the next round with the same team.

“We would have batted first,” said Azam. “We wanted to put runs on the board and put them under pressure.”

Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, who knocked out Bangladesh on Thursday, have made the Super Four stage from Group B.


Hong Kong: Nizakat Khan (capt), Yasim Murtaza, Babar Hayat, Kinchit Shah, Aizaz Khan, Scott McKechnie (wk), Zeeshan Ali, Haroon Arshad, Ehsan Khan, Ayush Shukla, Mohammad Ghazanfar

Pakistan: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani

Umpires: Raveendra Wimalasiri (SRI), Ruchira Palliyaguruge (SRI)

TV Umpire: Masudur Rahman (BAN)

Match Referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)

Agence France-Presse


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