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Asia Cup 2018: Three things you might have missed in Hong Kong's innings against Pakistan

FEATURED COLUMNIST
Feature
466   //    16 Sep 2018, 19:53 IST

New Zealand v Pakistan - 4th ODI
Shadab Khan had a memorable Asia Cup opener

Pakistan got their Asia Cup 2018 on a bright note as they managed to restrict Hong Kong for a mere 116. After getting off to a decent start, thanks to openers Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath, Hong Kong lost a flurry of quick wickets and were reduced to 44/5 in the 17th over. Aizaz Khan and Kinchit Shah tried their best to pull things back with a 30-run stand for the sixth wicket before Usman Khan Shinwari sent Aizaz back to the pavilion for 27.

Things got worse for Hong Kong as they lost three more wickets for just two runs and were reduced to 99/9. Thanks to some late charge from Ehsan Nawaz and Nadeem Ahmed, Hong Kong managed to reach 116 in 37.1 overs. 

For Pakistan, Usman Khan Shinwari was the wrecker-in-chief with three wickets while Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan finished with two wickets apiece. Let us take a look at three things you might have missed in Hong Kong's innings against Pakistan.


No conventional swing for the Pakistani bowlers

One thing that can be often associated with the Pakistani bowlers is the conventional swing they generate with the new ball at the start of the innings. A lot of new ball exploits were expected from this Pakistani bowling attack as Mohammad Amir and Usman Shinwari are capable of moving the new ball both ways and to everyone's surprise, they hardly got to swing the ball in their match against Hong Kong. Lasith Malinga, who was bowling at the same venue yesterday, managed to move the new ball a bit compared to what the Pakistani bowlers have done tonight. Is this the sign of things to come in the tournament? Only time will tell.

An empty stadium

The United Arab Emirates has been Pakistan's home for the last decade and it is surprising to see the low turn out for their match against Hong Kong, especially after seeing the number of fans, who turned out in large numbers for yesterday's game.

The reason for this could be the fact that Sunday is not an official holiday in the UAE and adding to that, the heat in that part of the world would have made the fans not to seek tickets for an encounter in which Pakistan are certain of winning the game with ease.

Shadab Khan, the fielder

Everyone knows how dangerous leg-spinner Shadab Khan can be with the ball and the youngster showed why he is so special as he picked up two wickets in his first over. But, what is more surprising was the performance of Shadab Khan, the fielder.

Fielding at backward point, he would have easily saved at least 10-15 runs in the innings and was involved in effecting a run out apart from taking a catch. Opener Nizakat Khan, who was looking solid, was run out due to Shadab's brilliant fielding.

He was very casual in taking a run as he was more concerned about taking evasive action against the throw at the striker's end, rather than getting inside the crease first. Shadab, the fielder at backward point, closed in on the ball, got rid off it quickly and hit the stumps with a direct hit.

Later in the innings, he took the catch off Hasan Ali's bowling to dismiss Kinchit Shah for 26.

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