Hong Kong's hopes dashed as they go down feebly to Afghanistan in ICC Twenty20 World Cup
Tanwir Afzal’s side fail to advance to the Super 10 phase after suffering a six-wicket defeat
Hong Kong were beaten by Afghanistan in their second group B match of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Nagpur on Thursday, ending their hopes of advancing to the Super 10 phase.
A six-wicket loss comes two days after they were defeated by 14 runs by Zimbabwe, who beat Scotland on Thursday to set up a decider with the Afghans with the winners advancing to the next round.
After a safe and confident start, Hong Kong – who elected to bat – lost the wickets of Ryan Campbell (27) and Babar Hayat (0) in the fifth over with the score on 42 for two.
After looking comfortable, it then became hard work for Hong Kong as the Afghan bowlers, particularly spinner Mohammad Nabi (four for 20), kept the batsman pinned down with clever bowling and picking up wickets along the way.
Hong Kong finished on 116 for six, Anshuman Rath top-scoring with 28. But it was never going to be enough against a strong and experienced batting line-up.
Despite a late flurry of wickets, Afghanistan cantered home with 12 balls remaining.
“We got a good start and we were in a position to score 140-145,” said Hong Kong captain Tanwir Afzal. “It’s not easy to score early on, we missed key moments.
“It was hard to bat on. So many positive things we can take from these two games, we’ll regroup and come back with confidence in the next match against Scotland.”
Hong Kong now face Scotland in their last match, with both teams looking for their first win.
Campbell helped Hong Kong to a good start but was out for 27 in freak fashion. Going for a big shot against Mohammad Nabi, the ball hit his helmet and looped on to the stumps.
Two balls later, Babar Hayat gave a simple catch to Samiullah Shenwari at midwicket off Nabi and, from a position of reasonable strength, Hong Kong suddenly had to buckle down.
Opener Jamie Atkinson, after playing an anchoring role, was bowled by legspinner Rashid Khan for 16 at the end of the ninth over to a delivery that skidded on to the stumps.
Mark Chapman went soon afterwards for eight after being done by a yorker from Gulbadin Naib.
Nizakat (eight) was stumped with a flourish by wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad after he was beaten by Nabi with Hong Kong at 81 for five before Kinchit Shah was caught and bowled by man-of-the-match Nabi for 11.
Shahzad (41) and Noor Ali Zadran (35) gave Afghanistan an opening partnership of 70 runs that set the foundation for a comfortable win.