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Pakistan and Hong Kong have not faced each other in T20 cricket yet. Pakistan have a significantly better team on paper and will have a big advantage over Hong Kong in all departments. Expect Pakistan to win this Group A fixture on Friday.
Pakistan to win (-500)
Pick made on 08/31/2022 at 10:48 PM EST
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Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali/Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shahnawaz Dahani, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah
Hong Kong: Nizakat Khan (c), Yasim Murtaza, Babar Hayat, Kinchit Shah, Aizaz Khan, Scott McKechnie (wk), Zeeshan Ali, Haroon Arshad, Ehsan Khan, Mohammad Ghazanfar, Ayush Shukla
Pakistan and Hong Kong will meet in the final fixture of Group A which also happens to be a direct shootout for a Super 4 spot. The two teams who are coming off a loss, will meet at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Pakistan were defeated by the arch rivals India in their first game of the tournament. Their batting line-up was tormented by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya, who combined for 7 wickets between them. Mohammad Rizwan occupied the crease but struggled to change the gears, eventually getting dismissed for 43 off 42. Haris Rauf (13 off 7) and Shahnawaz Dahani (16 off 6) were able to push the total to 147.
Naseem Shah landed an early blow before Mohammad Nawaz picked up a couple of wickets. Pakistan were then outplayed by Hardik who smashed 33 not out in 17 balls. Needing 6 off 3, the Indian all-rounder dispatched Nawaz over long-on.
Hong Kong, who passed through qualifiers to reach the group stage of the tournament, were impressive against India. Eventually they ended up losing by 40 runs. Their bowlers kept the Indian top order in check but Suryakumar Yadav smashed them to all parts with 68* off 26. Hong Kong scored 51 runs in the powerplay but could not keep up with the rate. Babar Hayat top scored 41 off 35 while Kinchit Shah and Zeeshan Ali also put up some resistance.
Pakistan are without Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Wasim for this tournament due to injuries. Their bowling attack comprised Shahnawaz Dahani, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah in the first game. Naseem was outstanding with the ball on his T20I debut. The spin duo of Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz did a good job against India. The batting department needs a bit of shuffling. Fakhar Zaman opening and one of Babar Azam or Mohammad Rizwan moving down to no. 3 makes them a better side but the move looks unlikely. Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah will have to be at their best to power them to good scores.
Hong Kong expectedly played the same XI they had in the last two games in the qualifiers. Nizakat Khan and Yasim Murtaza form the opening pair with Babar Hayat, who has been in pretty good touch, at number three. Kinchit Shah, Zeeshan Ali and Scott McKechnie comprise the middle order. In the bowling department, Ehsan Khan has been in good form of late. Ayush Shukla and Murtaza have also done well.
Babar Azam: The Pakistan skipper was dismissed for 10 against India but remains a key component of the batting unit. Babar has a fantastic record at the top of the order, albeit often criticised for a slow scoring rate. He has scored 2696 runs in international T20s from 75 matches, averaging 45 at a strike rate of close to 130. The elegant opening batter has one hundred and 26 fifties to his name at this level.
Naseem Shah: The 19yr old made his T20I debut in the last game against India and he was mighty impressive. The speedster bowled brilliantly with the new ball and in the end overs, picking 2 for 27 in his four overs. Prior to the Asia Cup, Naseem made his ODI debut in the series against the Netherlands and blasted them with his pace, snaring 10 scalps in three games. In his overall T20 career, Naseem has picked 46 wickets with a five-for and a four-for.
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|Teams||Pakistan vs Hong Kong, Group A, 6th Match, Asia Cup|
|Location||Sharjah Cricket Stadium|
|Time||Friday, 2nd September, 7:30 PM IST/2 PM GMT|
|How to watch||Star Sports Network/Disney+ Hotstar (Pakistan), SportsMax (Caribbean), Fox Sports & Channel 7 (Australia), Sky Sport NZ (New Zealand), SuperSport (Hong Kong), Willow TV (USA), Sky Sports Cricket (United Kingdom)|
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