Hong Kong opt to bat v Afghanistan
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Hong Kong need nothing short of victory to give themselves any chance of pulling off a miracle in the qualifying stages of the World T20 © AFP
Tanwir Afzal won the toss as Hong Kong elected to bat in their must-win World Twenty20 qualifiers clash against Afghanistan at the VCA Stadium.
Afghanistan boosted their pace bowling stocks by including comeback man Hamid Hassan in place of Amir Hamza, the left-arm spinner. Hong Kong, meanwhile, were unchanged. “We will give ourselves a good chance to restrict them if we get to at least 150,” said Afzal. “This is an important game for us. We need to stay calm, cool and play positively.”
Asghar Stanikzai, his Afghanistan counterpart, said while they would have preferred to put the runs on the board in an important clash, he didn’t mind bowling first as the surface wouldn’t change drastically as the game progressed. “Keeping them to 140 will be a good effort,” he said.
Zimbabwe winning two in as many games means there will be pressure on the more-experienced Afghanistan to do all the running if they are to boost their chances of making it through to the Super 10s. Meanwhile, Hong Kong, who went down by 14 runs to Zimbabwe, have to win to given themselves even a semblance of a chance of pulling off a miracle.
Afghanistan beat Hong Kong by seven wickets in the only meeting between the two sides at a World T20, in Chittagong in 2014.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Asghar Stanikzai, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Najibullah Zadran, Shafiqullah, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Hamid Hassan
Hong Kong: Jamie Atkinson, Ryan Campbell, Babar Hayat, MS Chapman, Anshuman Rath, Nizakat Khan, Tanwir Afzal, KD Shah, Aizaz Khan, Haseeb Amjad, Nadeem Ahmed
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo