Asia Cup 2018: India survive Hong Kong scare, register a narrow win


Defending champions India were given a run for their money by a spirited Hong Kong but edged past with a 26-run victory in their Asia Cup opener at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Defending champions India were given a run for their money by a spirited Hong Kong but edged past with a 26-run victory in their Asia Cup opener at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Follow the highlights from the match:

# Brief score:

*India win by 26 runs

* Hong Kong 259/8 (Nizakat Khan 92 (115), Anshuman Rath 73 (97) / Yuzvendra Chahal 3/46, Khaleel Ahmed 3/48)

*India 285/7 (Shikhar Dhawan 127 (120), Ambati Rayudu 60 (70) / Kinchit Shah 3/39)

That’s a wrap! 

Wicket!! Khaleel Ahmed gets the better of Ehsan Khan with a slower ball to pick up his 3rd wicket for the match. He becomes the 16th Indian to bag 3 wickets on debut (ODI).

50 ODI wickets for Kuldeep Yadav, he becomes the second-fastest spinner, 24 matches, to achieve the feat. Sri Lanka’s Ajanta Mendis is the fastest with 19 matches. 

Wicket!! Scott McKechnie fails to read Kuldeep Yadav’s googly and ends up get stumped by MS Dhoni. Hong Kong 240/7!

# India hung-around to trigger a collapse and Hong Kong, who were cruising at one stage, seem to have lost their way. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma would be a happy man. Hong Kong 235/6 after 46 overs, need 51 off 24 balls. 

Wicket!! Double delight for Chahal as he picks up Kinchit Shah (17) and Aizaz Khan (0) to reduced Hong Kong to 6 wickets.

Wicket!! Chahal joins the party. He tempts Babar Hayat with a tossed-up ball outside the off-stump and Hayat ends up edging the ball to Dhoni. Hong Kong 199/4!

# It is safe to say that India are back into the game. However, Hong Kong, who need 88 runs in the last 10 over, will try make India run for their money. It is a do-or-die for Hong Kong and India, who have had an exhausting, face a tougher opponent tomorrow. Hong Kong 198/3 after 40 overs. 

Wicket!! Khaleel strikes again. He probes Christopher Carter with an angling delivery and the latter opens the face of his bat to edge a catch to MS Dhoni. Hong Kong 191/3, need 95 runs in 65 balls. 

Wicket!! Khaleel strikes for India. He skids the ball into Nizakat to trap him plumb on the front! Nizakat’s stunning knock comes to an end. Nizakat falls for 95 off 115 balls. 

Wicket!! India finally have a breakthrough as Anshuman Rath hits Kuldeep Yadav’s pitched up delivery straight into the hands of Rohit Sharma at short-cover.  Hong Kong 174/1! Anshuman Rath departs for a 97-ball 73.  

# Half-century: Hong Kong skipper Anshuman Rath brings up his half-century in 75 balls.

# India try and create pressure as they concede only 23 runs in the last 7 overs. Hong Kong, however, are still in a comfortable position at 133 runs with 10 wickets in hand. India need to pull out something special here to trigger a collapse. Hong Kong 133/0 after 27 overs, need 153 runs to win. 

# It has been a frustrating and an exhausting 20 overs for India. The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have failed to create meaningful chances. Hong Kong batsmen are rotating the strike at a healthy rate and have a huge chance to upset heavyweights India, who are starting to let things slip here. Hong Kong 119/0 after 22 overs, need 167 runs to win. 

Century-stand! Hong Kong openers Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath continue to threaten India as they bring up a 100-run partnership. This is their highest-ever opening stand. What a remarkable feat!

# Half-century! Nizakat Khan pulls Shardul over the mid-wicket boundary to bring up his half-century in style. What a start! Nizakat Khan 52 off 43 balls (8 fours and 1 six). 

Hong Kong 56/0 after 10 overs. Click here for the detailed scorecard.

# Anshuman and Nizakat have pounced on anything that is pitched-up and confidently defended the good deliveries. They have notched up 56 runs and not lost a single wicket in the first 10 overs. However, they have tougher times ahead with the inclusion of spin. This is Hong Kong’s first 50-run partnership for the opening wicket against a Test nation.

Hong Kong are off to a cautious start. Both Anshuman and Nizakat are happy to take things slow against the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and debutant Khaleel Ahmed. While Kumar got the ball to swing, Khaleel is still settling and searching for a probing angle to bowl at. Hong Kong 26-0 after 6 overs. 

#Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath open the innings for Hong Kong.  

Innings break!

Brief score: 

*Hong Kong need 286 runs to win

*India 285/7 (Shikhar Dhawan 127 (120), Ambati Rayudu 60 (70) / Kinchit Shah 3/39)

Just when India looked set to a big total, Kinchit Shah and Ehsan Khan reduced India from 240/4 to 277/6. The spirited Hong Kong side bowled brilliantly, giving away only 48 runs in the last 10 overs, restricting India to 285/7. Kinchit Shah was the pick of the Hong Kong bowlers with figures of 3/39 (9 overs). Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan hit a 120-ball 127, his 14th ODI ton. He stitched a patient 116-run 2nd wicket stand with Ambati Rayudu (60) and a 79-run partnership with Dinesh Karthik (33) at the top.

# That’s it! India finish their innings at 285/7! 

# Kuldeep Yadav is in at number nine. 

# Wicket!! India lose another wicket as Shardul Thakur slogs a catch off Aizaz Khan’s pitched-up delivery.

# Shardul Thakur is in at number eight. 

# Wicket!! Kinchit strikes again as Bhuvneshwar Kumar hands a catch to Hong Kong skipper Anshuman Rath, who takes a sharp catch at mid-wicket. India 277/6!

Hong Kong have come back remarkably, Kinchit Shah, in particular, bowled flat and contained the Indians well in the death overs. He has taken two wickets and given only 37 runs in 8 overs at an impressive economy rate of 4.63. India, who were cruising to a 300-run mark, lost wickets in quick succession and are struggling to accelerate. India 275/5 after 48 overs. 

# Bhuvneshwar Kumar is in at number seven. 

# Wicket!! Another huge wicket for Hong Kong as Dinesh Karthik slog-sweeps Kinchit Shah’s flat delivery to Hayat, who takes a brilliant catch at deep mid-wicket. India lose 3 wickets in 3 overs. India 248/5!

# Kedar Jadhav is in at number six. 

Wicket!! This is huge. Ehsan Khan traps Dhoni, who pushes an edge to wicketkeeper Scott McKechnie. Dhoni departs for a duck. India 247/4!

# MS Dhoni is in at number five. 

# India 240/3 after 41 overs. 

# Wicket! Kinchit Shah scalps Shikhar Dhawan for 127 runs (120 balls). Dhawan attempted slog over the mid-wicket boundary but hands it straight to Tanwir Afzal at backward point.

Shikhar Dhawan attempts to clear Kinchit on the long-off boundary but miscues hit shot to  Tanwir Afzal

 At 8 runs per over, at this stage, India will reach 314 runs and expect Shikhar Dhawan to change gears and accelerate with 13 overs in hand. Hong Kong, however, could restrict India for a lower score if they manage to take a couple of wickets as MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav are the only two recognised batsmen left to bat. India 216/2 after 38 overs.


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