The last match of the Asia Cup Qualifier 2022 turned out to be the virtual final. On the final day, Kuwait thrashed Singapore to leapfrog UAE’s Net Run Rate. A win for UAE (by less than 55 runs) would mean Kuwait had their first Asia Cup appearance in their history.
However, Hong Kong made sure they would play second consecutive Asia Cup in a row after beating UAE by 8 wickets. They will join India and Pakistan in the group A. It’s their 4th overall appearance in Asia Cup (2004, 2008 and 2018 previously). Despite winning two games in a row, Hong Kong were in a must-win situation before the game because of poor Net Run Rate.
Courtesy of brilliant bowling, they bowled out UAE for 147. Ehshan Khan took 4/24 during his spell. Similarly, Ayush Shukla chipped in with 3 scalps. Newly appointed Skipper Chundangapoyil Rizwan top-scored UAE’s innings with 44-ball 49 whereas Zawar Farid’s late middle-order hitting lifted UAE as he blasted 27-ball 41.
Chasing modest total of 148, Hong Kong had a brilliant opening partnership – added 85 runs – between Skipper Nizakat Khan (39) and Yasim Murtaza (58). Babar Hayat, walking in at 3, then thumped unbeaten 26-ball 38 to take Hong Kong home. Junaid Siddique and Basil Hameed took wicket apeice for UAE.
The 15th edition of Asia Cup (this time in T20 format) kicks off on saturday when Afghanistan take on Sri Lanka at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.