Hong Kong’s Nadeem Ahmed and Pakistan’s captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik will be forming an unlikely re-union, 10 years in the making when Hong Kong take on Pakistan in their opening group stage match in the 2018 Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Asia Cup in Dubai on 16th Sep 2018.
Hong Kong took on Pakistan on 24th Jun 2008 in Karachi in their last Asia Cup appearance and incidentally, Shoaib Malik was Pakistan’s captain at that point of time. Pakistan’s batting greats in Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq were all part of the set-up and Nadeem Ahmed would remember the match in a fond way as he scalped 4 Pakistan wickets on the day and finished with a match haul of 4/51 from his 9 overs.
That was Karachi 10 years ago. Times have changed and so has the dynamics of One-Day cricket and also how well Associate member countries including Hong Kong have made good and steady progress over the years in white-ball cricket.
In what will be an Acid test of Anshuman Rath’s captaincy, barely into it’s tenure for more than 2 weeks now after Babar Hayat handed over the captaincy reigns before the start of Asia Cup qualifiers, Hong Kong will have it’s task cut out against a strong Pakistan bowling line-up.
All will depend on how Hong Kong bat on the day and if that particular department holds it’s own against a strong bowling line-up, it would go a long way in making the match more competitive than the odds it has been given by the general media.
The spin department comprising of Ehsan Khan and Nadeem Ahmed will hold the key to Hong Kong’s bowling fortunes during the middle overs and if the pace bowlers in Tanwir Afzal, Ehsan Nawaz and Aizaz Khan can make early break-through’s into the Pakistan batting line-up, Rath will be feeling very much confident of creating a major upset in a rare official ODI against a full member country.
Czarsportz top players to watch out for Hong Kong in Pakistan ODI in 2018 Asia Cup:
Nizakat Khan, Ehsan Khan, Aizaz Khan, Nadeem Ahmed and Chris Carter