Hong Kong defeated the United Arab Emirates in the finals of the Asia Cup Qualifiers after they successfully chased down 177 in a rain-curtailed 24-overs-a-side encounter at the Kinrara Oval on Thursday.
On the virtue of their win, Hong Kong will join defending champions India and Pakistan in Group A.
Asked to bat first, UAE riding on a scintillating 51-ball-79 from Ashfaq Ahmed posted a competitive 9-176 after an unanticipated rain had brought a halt to their proceedings in the 16th over. With the game reduced, the UAE batsmen stepped on the pedestal and amassed 111 runs in the remaining 8.4 overs to set Hong Kong 177 to win in 23 overs. Aizaz Khan, 5-28, was the pick of the bowlers for Hong Kong.
Chasing 177, the Hong Kong openers got off to a blistering start, with Nizakat Khan (38) and Anshuman Rath (28) accumulating 64 runs for the first wicket. But Nizakat Khan’s wicket off Rohan Mustafa led to a stutter, as Hong Kong proceed to lose four wickets for a mere 18 runs before Ehsan Khan and Christopher Carter steered their side past the finishing line with a match-winning 53-run stand for the fifth wicket.
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Hong Kong will kickstart their 2018 Asia Cup campaign against two-time champions Pakistan in Dubai on September 16.
UAE (9-176 (24), Ashfaq Ahmed 79, Aizaz Khan 5-28) lost to Hong Kong (8-179, Nizakat Khan 38, Mohammad Naveed 2-47) by two wickets (D/L).