India opened their account in the Asia Cup 2018 by defeating minnows Hong Kong in their first match on September 18 by 26 runs.
India had batted first and put on 285/7 runs on board thanks to 127 by Shikhar Dhawan and a fifty by Ambati Rayudu. Hong Kong bowlers especially Kinchit Shah, who took three wickets, brought the scoring down in the last 10 overs where India scored 47 runs.
When Hong Kong openers Anshuman Rath and Nizakat Khan came out to bat, no one gave them a chance to chase down such a big total. But the duo put on 174 runs for the first wicket with Nizakat making 92 and Anshuman making 73. At one point everyone thought that HK might gain a shocking upset, but debutant Khaleel Ahmed and the spin twins came to the party and stopped HK on 259/8 and won the game by 26 runs.
Though India won the match, Hong Kong got all the praise for their fight and the cricket fraternity took to Twitter to applaud their efforts.
Here are some of the tweets:
Hong Kong turned out to be like an out of syllabus question paper for TEAM India. Brave fight and it can only get better from here. Wishing them good luck #IndvHK— Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) September 19, 2018
Well played Hong Kong. Tough game for India. Sometimes good to get asked tough questions before a big game.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 18, 2018
A huge round of applause to Hong Kong for their resilience and determination in giving India a run for their money. Good innings from @SDhawan25 & @RayuduAmbati and Khaleel Ahmed was very impressive #AsiaCup— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) September 18, 2018
Brilliant effort from Hong Kong first with their bowling in the last ten overs and than being in the game with the bat for a large part of their innings. Tomorrow the big one #IndvsPak— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) September 18, 2018
Terrific game @CricketHK ????????????????????????????????— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) September 18, 2018
My point re appointing their ODI status back... is currently, that they DO NOT receive any grants from @ICC and they need $$$ to help them develop the game in their region. And I think they deserve it.