Asia Cup 2018 – India beat Hong Kong by 26 runs

India beat Hong Kong by 26 runs

19th September 2018: India must have had a scare even if they could register a 26 runs victory over the minnows Hong Kong in their opening group league match of the Asia Cup, 2018.

India beat Hong Kong by 26 runs

The Dubai International Cricket stadium saw a cheerful crowd, geared up for the ODI match 4 between India and Hong Kong. Given their first match in the Asia Cup 2018, the Indian team faces the rivals Pakistan, on Wednesday. Pakistan is already on a high from their last win. An interesting news on the Indian squad is that left arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed made his debut in this match for the team.  A whopping 285 runs on board by the loss of 7 wickets in 50 overs, India put up a good challenge in front of the opponent. The latter also tried and put up a good show, scoring 259 runs for the loss of 8 wickets, but lost the match. India won the match by 26 runs.

India vs Hong Kong Scorecard

India’s Innings

India's Innings

Winning the toss, Hong Kong decided to bowl first against India. With Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan getting down to bat first, Tanwir Afzal made the opening delivery for the Hong Kong team. India goes on a modest start with 13 runs coming in 2 overs.

Some amazing boundaries by Indian openers were a pleasure to watch. Dhawan and Rohit gave the team the much-needed opening foundation. But in 7.4 overs, Hong Kong gets a breakthrough as Rohit Sharma is dismissed by an Ehsan delivery, caught by Nizakat Khan in mid off. India was then at 45/1.  In 13 overs the scoreboard showed 70/1, as the Hong Kong bowlers could bring Dhawan’s smashing fours under control.  Dhawan, supported by Ambati Rayudi were on a partnership of 39 runs off 50 balls after the first drinks break, at the end of the 16th over.

Also Check : Asia Cup 2018 – India crushed Pakistan by 8 Wickets

Shikhar Dhawan made his 6th ODI half-century when 100 runs came to the scoreboard of India.  Ehsan Nawaz is quick to dismiss Rayudu to break the third wicket partnership when India is clearly placed at 163/2. In the 37th over Dhawan earns his century- a brilliant hundred that just came in 105 balls! This was definitely a nerve wrecking moment for Hong Kong, but finally, they were successful to dismiss Dhawan in the 41st over, with a catch by Tanvir Afzal, bowled brilliantly by KD Shah. A mighty Shikhar Dhawan walks back to the pavilion having contributed his team 127 runs.

He had hit as many as 15 boundaries and 2 sixes in his contribution of 127 off 120 balls to the Indian scorecard.

Ehsan Khan even managed to get the wicket of The man himself- MS Dhoni. The Indian middle order is still struggling and it is important to fix these deficiencies before the big match on Wednesday. The team looked good enough to be able to cross the 300 score mark but again a batting collapse in the middle order, equipped with good bowling from Hong Kong restricted them to 285. It was because of the contribution made by Dhawan that had ultimately given the Indian team-high runs on the scoreboard.

Hing Kong’s Innings

Hing Kong's Innings

Chasing the target of 286 runs, Hong Kong put up a good partnership, strongly batted by their openers, Nizakat Khan who scored a 92, and skipper Anshuman Rath scoring 73 runs, which added to a partnership of 174 runs on board for the first wicket, which might have been enough to upset the win of Indians, had the minnows not shown some inexperience towards the middle order. This was Hong Kong’s highest partnership in ODI cricket. The skipper leads from the front and is brilliantly supported by his teammate. A lot of boundaries and over boundaries could be seen.

Unlike the past few matches of this tournament which clearly looked weighed down on one side, the match between India and Hong Kong was nail-biting and it took to the last overs to decide if India would make it.

The Indian bowlers were a major disappointment until these two players were on the crease and it was really frustrating for them. Chahal, Yadav, and Ahmed took wickets and had some impressive bowling figures. While Yadav took 2 wickets, while Chahal took 3 conceding 46 runs. It was Khaleel Ahmed’s first ODI and he did well by taking 3 wickets including the one of Nizakat Khan who swore to threaten India by his great form and ability.

Also Check : Asia Cup 2018 – Bangladesh Vs Sri Lanka Match Report

Hong Kong, not having that experience enough which is needed at this stage of the game, succumbed to India, and the breakthrough came in the 35th over, when the bowlers felt a bit relieved.  Kuldeep Yadav was the man to break the deadly partnership between Nizakat Khan and Rath after he dismissed the captain who had scored 73 runs. Yadav had taken 2 wickets by conceding just 42 runs in the 10 overs that he had bowled, including 2 maiden overs.

Though India has won the match today the tough fight put up by the Hong Kong team is really worth mentioning. It must have had given a fright to India.

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