Asia Cup Qualifiers: UAE, Hong Kong set to fight for Asia Cup berth

Thw winner will play India and Pakistan in the group stage.

Rohan Mustafa for UAE and Anshuman Rath for Hong Kong played match winning knocks.

After an intriguing league stage, UAE and Hong Kong are set to play against each other for a place in the Asia Cup 2018 which starts from September 15. 

First Hong Kong won against Nepal followed by UAE's triumph against Oman. The results meant UAE finished atop the table on eight points, with Hong Kong second, ahead of Oman on net run rate after finishing level on seven points.

UAE skipper  Rohan Mustafa scored a 104-ball 71  after being asked to bat,  as they posted 208/8. The importance of Mustafa’s knock was evident in the fact that the next highest score in the innings was the 24 scored by Ashfaq Ahmed, the opener.

Oman, meanwhile, had contributions throughout the line-up. Aqib Ilyas’ 43-ball 45, comprising seven fours, kept them going, even Jatinder Singh (7) and Vaibhav Wategaonkar (17) were dismissed fairly quickly.

However, Khawar Ali (20), Ajay Lalcheta (22), Mohammad Nadeem (23) and Naseem Khushi (27) helped keep Oman in the hunt. However, wickets at regular intervals meant that Oman was always behind the asking rate as they eventually bowled out for 195 losing the match by  13 runs. 

On the other hand, Anshuman Rath, the captain, was the star for Hong Kong. His 82-ball 52 helped them negotiate a small chase. Nepal opting to bat first was bowled out for just 95 after a good show by the Hong Kong bowlers. 

Sandeep Lamichhane's spell of 5 /27 wasn't enough to help Nepal script a memorable victory as Hong Kong held their nerves to make their way to the final of the qualifiers.

They were 40/3, but Rath's 31-run stand with Kinchit Shah helped them edge closer to the target before more wickets, including that of Rath, left them reeling at 87/7. However, Tanwir Afzal and Scott McKechnie helped see the chase through.

The winner of the final between UAE and Hong Kong will play will take on India and Pakistan in the group stage. 


By Anshuman Roy - 04 Sep, 2018

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