Afghanistan keep their final round hope alive in the Asia Cup T20 Cricket beating all-losers Hong Kong by 66 runs in their 3rd and last qualifying round match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Monday.
With day’s the feat, both Afghanistan and the UAE shared the top slot jointly in the four-team qualifying round securing four points each.
But, Afghanistan earned the points playing all the three qualifiers while the UAE enjoyed an upper hand securing four points from straight two matches and need just an outright victory against Oman in the remaining match Monday night to confirm the final round berth.
On the other hand, Afghanistan had to wait for a defeat of the UAE against Oman in the day’s remaining qualifiers with better run rate.
Replying to Afghanistan modest total of 178 runs for 7 in stipulated 20 overs in the day’s first match, all-losers Hong Kong were bundled out for cheaply for 112 runs in 17.1 overs, despite making a good start scoring 56 runs in 6.3 overs in the opening stand.
Hong Kong made a solid start scoring 56 runs in opening stand, 79 runs in the 2nd wicket stand in 10 overs and 87 runs in 11.1 overs in the 3rd wicket stand.
But the after dismissal top three batsmen — opener Anshuman Rath (41), another opener KD Shah (29) and one down Babar Hayat (18) — for 87 runs in 11.1 overs, no other Hong Kong batsmen were able to reach double digit Famed Afghan all rounder Mohammad Nabi made the major damage to the Hong Kong innings with his right-arm off-break bowling to claim five-wicket for 17 runs in four overs and was adjudged the man of the match.
Besides, Rashid Khan and Dawlat Zardan grabbed two wickets each conceding 10 and 18 runs respectively.
Earlier, sent in to bat first, Afghanistan started carefully to score 83 runs for 3 in 10.1 overs and finally made a respectable total of 178 runs, riding on an unconquered 60 runs by middle order Najibullah Zardan who furnished his 35-ball innings with three fours and four sixes.
Besides, captain Asghar Stanikzai scored 35-ball 49 with three fours and four sixes, opener Mohammad Shahzad made 14-ball 24 runs including three fours and a six, Dawlat Zardan quick-fired four ball 13 runs hitting two sixes while Karim Sadiq scored 9-ball 10 runs with one boundary.
Aizaz Khan grabbed three wickets for 38 runs while MS Champan, debutant Tanveer Ahmed and Tanwir Afzal took one wicket each conceding 24, 31 and 34 runs respectively.