Spin twins, leg-spinner Shadab Khan and left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz shared seven wickets between themselves as Pakistan thrashed Hong Kong by 155 runs in the final Group A match of Asia Cup 2022 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday. After sparkling knocks from Mohammad Rizwan (78 not out), Fakhar Zaman (53) and Khushdil Shah (35 not out) carried Pakistan to a daunting 193/2, Hong Kong were blown away by pacers and spinners to be bundled out for 38, giving the Babar Azam-led side their biggest-ever win by runs in T20Is. The win also means that Pakistan qualify for the Super Four stage from Group A while Hong Kong crashed out of the competition. It also sets up another India-Pakistan showdown in the Super Four match in Dubai on Sunday, exactly a week after meeting in the first Group A match of the tournament.
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Nizakat Khan began well by crunching a drive square of the wicket off Shahnawaz Dahani. But Naseem Shah took him out in the next over, chipping straight to cover. Four balls later, Shah castled Babar Hayat for a four-ball duck. More trouble followed for Hong Kong as Dahani bounced out Yasim Murtaza and mid-on ran forward to complete a low catch.
From there, Shadab and Nawaz took over to totally dismantle Hong Kong’s challenge with the bat. Shadab bamboozled with his googly, taking out Aizaz Khan and Haroon Arshad. Nawaz, on the other hand, took out Kinchit Shah, Scott McKechnie and Zeeshan Ali.
Post drinks break, Shadab’s wrong’un castled Ayush Shukla and then trapped Mohammad Ghazanfar lbw to complete a resounding thrashing of Hong Kong at the hands of Pakistan.
Brief scores: Pakistan 193/2 in 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 78 not out, Fakhar Zaman 53; Ehsan Khan 2-28) against Hong Kong 38 all out in 10.4 overs (Nizakat Khan 8, Shadab Khan 4-8, Mohammad Nawaz 3-5) by 155 runs