Asia Cup, Pakistan vs Hong Kong: Nizakat elects to field
Pakistan face a free-spirited Hong Kong in a must-win Group A clash in Sharjah on Friday. The Men in Green head into the game post a five-wicket drubbing against arch-rivals India. Meanwhile, Asia Cup 2022 Qualifier, Hong Kong, will be hoping to pull an upset to advance further. The news from the center is that Nizakat Khan has elected to bowl first.
Pitch report, timing, and TV listing
The Sharjah Cricket Stadium will play host to this affair. It's a good batting track with 149 as the average first innings total. Sides batting first have won 16 of 26 matches played here. Spinners could prove menacing as was visible in the last outing. The match will be telecast live on Star Sports Network (7:30 PM IST) and live-streamed on the Hotstar app.
Here's the head-to-head record in Asia Cup
Pakistan are yet to face Hong Kong in T20Is. As for the Asia Cup, Pakistan enjoy a 3-0 lead in the match-ups. Both teams crossed swords for the first time in the 2004 Asia Cup. The Men in Green had bagged a colossal 173-run triumph. Pakistan won the second and third meets by 155 runs and eight wickets in 2008 and 2018, respectively.
Here are the key performers (T20Is)
Babar Azam has amassed 2,696 runs at 44.93 (50s; 26, 100s: 1). Naseem Shah claimed 2/27 on his T20I debut against India. Overall, the right-armer has 46 T20 scalps (economy: 8.13). Fakhar Zaman has hammered 601 runs in T20s this year. He averages 37.56 (50s: 7, 100s: 1). Babar Hayat has compiled 258 runs in T20Is in 2022. He averages 36.85 (50s: 2).
Here are the two teams
Pakistan (Playing XI): Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani Hong Kong (Playing XI): Nizakat Khan (c), Yasim Murtaza, Babar Hayat, Kinchit Shah, Aizaz Khan, Zeeshan Ali, Scott McKechnie (wk), Haroon Arshad, Ehsan Khan, Ayush Shukla, Mohammad Ghazanfar