India defeated Hong Kong by a score of 40 runs at Asia Cup on Wednesday in Dubai, securing their place in the Super 4. With the help of Suryakumar Yadav’s 26-ball 68 and Virat Kohli’s 44-ball 59, India reached 192/2. Despite their best efforts, Hong Kong was unable to match India’s total. The outcome was 152/5.
India’s batting report
Going to bat first, India had trouble scoring runs because of the sluggish Dubai pitch. Despite getting 21 points off of 13 shots, Rohit Sharma was bowled by Ayush Shukla.
KL Both Rahul and Virat Kohli had trouble getting underway. For the second wicket, they scored 56 runs from 49 balls. Rahul’s strike rate was at 92.31 and he only managed to make 36 out of 39.
In the beginning, Virat Kohli too had trouble, scoring less than a run per ball. But as his innings went on, he picked more speed. He will, however, receive a much-needed confidence boost ahead of the probable Pakistan match on Sunday thanks to his 44-ball 59-run performance.
Surya’s awestruck performance
Suryakumar Yadav, though, was the star of the show and the show-stopper. He started out in full-on assault mode. He helped India go from 94/2 in 13 overs to 192/2. In the last 42 balls, India gained 98 runs, entirely because of Suryakumar Yadav.
He just needed 26 balls to score 62 runs. His knock had six fours and six massive sixes. However, the decisive over was the last one. India reached 192/2 when Suryakumar hammered Haroon Arshad for 26 runs, including 4 sixes.
Additionally, Virat Kohli was unbeaten for 59 runs off 44 balls. His innings featured a single four and three sixes. However, Rohit Sharma’s choice to bench Hardik Pandya in favour of Rishabh Pant did not go as he had hoped. Pant didn’t get to take a swing.
Disappointment from fast bowlers
With India’s excellent bowling lineup, chasing a goal of 193 was never going to be a simple assignment for Hong Kong. With the removal of Yasim Murtaza in the second over, Arshdeep Singh gave India the perfect start.
Babar Hayat, though, made India’s bowling appear subpar. In the powerplay, he engaged Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh. Ravindra Jadeja removed him, but not before he had made a valiant 41 off 35 balls.
Nizakat Khan, the captain of Hong Kong, was ejected by India before the powerplay ended. Ravindra Jadeja deserves all the praise since his direct hit was flawless. However, Hong Kong was still able to score 51/2 points during the power play.
Due to the combo bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja, things were challenging for the underdogs. With 18 runs from his 4 overs, Chahal managed to keep things calm despite failing to pick up a wicket. Jadeja’s dismissal of Babar Hayat on a straight delivery earned him 1/15 in his four overs.
In the absence of Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli also extended his hand to pitch one over in return for 6 runs. However, both Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh would express worry for Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid. Both performed poorly compared to Hong Kong. Avesh Khan gave up 53 in his 4 for 1 wicket while Arshdeep finished with 1/44 in his 4.
Kinchit Shah (30 off 28), Zeeshan Ali (26 off 17), and Scott McKechnie (16 off 8) had brief cameo appearances for Hong Kong. It wouldn’t be sufficient, though. In the end, Hong Kong scored 152/5 in 20 overs and lost the game by a margin of 40 runs.
Suryakumar Yadav became the player of the match. While Rohit Sharma became the first batsman to reach 3,500 runs in T20Is. To tie Rohit Sharma for the most 50+ scores in T20Is, Virat Kohli hammered his 31st T20I 50.
This was the first international game played in the UAE since 2019 in which a side successfully protected its total. The previous time it happened was during the T20 World Cup Qualifiers when Papua New Guinea defended 130 against Namibia.
India’s victory over Hong Kong was their third overall and first in T20Is. In 2018, India defeated Hong Kong in two one-day internationals.