The Asia Cup 2018 qualifiers came to an end with Hong Kong winning the finals against the United Arab Emirates in a rain-marred encounter at the Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur.
Hong Kong captain Anshuman Rath won the toss and chose to chase. UAE scored 176/9 in 24 overs, as persistent rains reduced the 50-over final to a 24 overs per side match. Ashfaq Ahmed scored 79, but the team couldn’t get any momentum in the start-stop affair.
HK’s Aizaz Khan picked 5/28 and Nadeem Ahmed picked 3/28 to keep UAE to a low score.
Hong Kong was given a brilliant start by Nizakat Khan (38) and Anshuman Rath (28), as the openers added 64 runs in first six overs. Though HK lost wickets in quick succession, Christopher Carter (33) and Ehsan Khan (29) carried the team towards victory.
Finally, Scott McKechnie (14*) and Tanwir Afzal (15) performed the final rites and took Hong Kong past the winning post with two wickets in hand.
Hong Kong will now join the group in main Asia Cup draw that includes India and Pakistan. They will play India on September 18 in their first match.
UAE 176/9 (A AHMED 79; A KHAN 5/28) lost to HK 179/8 (N KHAN 38; M NAVEED 2/47) by 2 wickets
Hong Kong qualifies for the Asia Cup 2018 main draw