Asia Cup 2018: Three things you might have missed in the first 15 overs of Hong Kong's innings
Chasing 286 for victory, Hong Kong have got off to a very good start and are in a great position to get off the mark in Asia Cup 2018. On the back of a century from Shikhar Dhawan, India posted 285 at the Dubai international stadium in Dubai after Hong Kong skipper Anshuman Rath won the toss and sent India to bat first.
Hong Kong's openers Anshuman Rath and Nizakat Khan have their side off to the perfect start and they are cruising along at 89/0 after 15 overs. While Nizakat has already brought up his fifty, the Hong Kong skipper has slowly made his way to 29 and both are currently at the crease.
Let us take a look at three things you might have missed in the first 15 overs of Hong Kong's innings.
Hong Kong off to a better start than India
After winning the toss, Hong Kong made the surprising decision of electing to bowl first. Although they got rid of Rohit Sharma inside the first powerplay, India still managed to score 56/1 in the first 10 overs.
However, chasing 286 for victory, Hong Kong got off to a better start than India. The Hong Kong openers, Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath put on a fifty partnership for the opening wicket and at the end of the 10 overs, had Hong Kong at 56/0.
Chasing a big target against a world-class bowling line-up, Hong Kong not only ensured that they didn't lose a wicket to the new ball but also ensured that they got off to a better start than India.
Three No Balls in an over from Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur got off to the perfect conceding just two runs in his first over and pushed the batsman back with a bouncer. But it all went horribly wrong after that. While nine runs came off the second over, it is during the third over that it all went off the rails for the right-arm pacer.
It all began with a no-ball and it wasn't even a small one as he overstepped by a huge margin. The free-hit ball was another one that didn't go according to plan. Not only did he bowl another no-ball, but he also bowled a wide full ball with third man up in the circle.
After two legal deliveries, came the third no-ball of the over from Thakur. The free-hit delivery was a hit-me ball that Nizakat Khan made the most of by depositing it over cow corner to bring up his third ODI fifty.
India's short ball ploy doesn't work
Hong Kong's openers are still at the crease and it has been Nizakat who has been the one doing all the damage. He has already scored his third ODI fifty and India have had a few attempts at trying to get him out.
One of the things they tried was the short ball ploy. Shardul's first ball was a perfectly angled bouncer at Nizakat and Bhuvneshwar Kumar tried a couple as well. But while the idea was right, the execution wasn't spot on.
The bouncers were either too far outside off or on the leg side, where it can be easily hooked. India will need to improve that if they are to get the right-hander out