Pakistan and Hong Kong will clash in the second match of the Asia Cup 2018. The tournament favorites Pakistan will fancy their chances against the minnows. Hong Kong did well to qualify for the Asia Cup but now the real test begins against the top players in the world.
Considering the fact that Pakistan plays most of their home games in the U.A.E., no other team is more familiar with what the surfaces will offer. It’s hot and humid in the nation and the Pakistani players know it to the depth. They are the favorites to lift the trophy amongst all the 6 nations.
Not just that, the team has done well in the recent past. Against all odds, the Sarfaraz Khan-led side won the ICC Champions Trophy last year. Recently as well, they won the T20I tri-series involving Australia and Zimbabwe. Then, they clean swept Zimbabwe 5-0 in their own den in the ODI series.
On the other hand, Hong Kong defeated U.A.E. in the Asia Cup qualifiers to secure a place in the main tournament. They are now placed in Group A alongside India and Pakistan. Both the teams possess mighty cricketers and the path forward will be extremely difficult for Hong Kong.
Here is our prediction for the game
Case1: If Pakistan bats first
First Innings score prediction: 320-330
Result prediction: Pakistan will win the match by more than 100 runs
Case2: If Hong Kong bats first
First Innings score prediction: 140-150
Result prediction: Pakistan will win the match by 7 wickets
Head to head in ODIs
Total ODIs: 2, Pakistan won: 2, Hong Kong won: 0, No Result: 0
The batting line-up is filled with some exciting young talent. Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam have been in a tremendous form of late. The skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik will be the backbone of the side with their experience. A lot will depend on how they bat during the middle and slog overs.
As always, there is plenty of firepower in the bowling department. Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali form a formidable pair. If Junaid Khan also gets a game, this will be the best pace bowling line-up in the tournament. The spin department will be handled by Shadab Khan and he has also grown in stature in the past couple of years.
Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan
The Hong Kong side will be led by Anshuman Rath. He is the mainstay for the side as far as the batting is concerned. A few other batsmen like Nizakat Khan put up a decent show in the qualifiers. The focus of the bowling will be on Aizaz Khan, the man who bagged 5 wickets in the final of the qualifiers.
Nizakat Khan, Anshuman Rath (C), Babar Hayat, Kinchit Shah, Christopher Carter, Ehsan Khan, Aizaz Khan, Scott McKechnie (wk), Tanwir Afzal, Ehsan Nawaz, Nadeem Ahmed