Asia Cup T20 2022: Hong Kong becomes 6th side to qualify; to join India, Pakistan in Group A
The six teams for the Asia Cup T20 2022 are set. While India and Pakistan have been placed in Group A, Hong Kong will join the two after becoming the sixth team to qualify for the multi-nation event.
The sixth team for the 2022 Asia Cup T20 has been confirmed. Following the Asia Cup T20 Qualifiers in Muscat, Hong Kong has finished atop the four-team qualifier, winning all its three matches. It all came down to the final game of the qualifier between Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground (Ministry Turf 1), which the former won in a commanding fashion by eight wickets, to get the job done. Both teams needed a win, while the latter had to get it done by a better margin. It would be HK's fourth appearance in the tournament, while it has been ousted in the group stage each time.
As for the match, HK opted to bowl after winning the toss, as UAE was off to an unsettled start, losing four for 47 by the seventh over, while skipper Chundangapoyil Rizwan (49) and Basil Hameed (9) added 30 runs for the fifth wicket. Later, the former and Zawar Farid (41) formed a unique 60-run partnership for the sixth.
However, after both were dismissed by 140/8, UAE was skittled for an average score of 147 by the 20th. HK's off-spinner Ehsan Khan grabbed four, while medium-pacer Ayush Shukla claimed three, whereas orthodox spinner Yasim Murtaza was economical. In reply, HK openers skipper Nizakat Khan (39) and Yasim Murtaza (58) contributed 85 by the 11th over to put their side on course for the win.
While it was 116/2 by the 17th after Murtaza was dismissed following his maiden T20I half-century, Babar Hayat (38) and Kinchit Shah (6) got the job done by the 19th over, winning by eight wickets. For UAE, pacer Junaid Siddique and off-spinner Basil Hameed were the wicket-takers, while orthodox-spinner Sultan Ahmed was economical.