Suryakumar Yadav`s blistering 68*, Virat Kohli`s 59* and Ravindra Jadeja`s quick fielding helped India secure direct qualification to the Super Four phase of the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 after beating Hong Kong by 40 runs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
India outplayed Hong Kong in all departments and also became the second team to qualify for the Super four.Chasing 193, Hong Kong got off to a bad start after their opening batter Yasim Murtaza lost his wicket. After getting hit for two fours, Arshdeep Singh gave Team India their first breakthrough in the form of Yasim Murtaza`s wicket, which was caught by Avesh Khan.
In the third over of the innings, Babar Hayat scored a six on the delivery of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Nizakat Khan was run out by Ravindra Jadeja after scoring 10 runs in 12 deliveries.
The spinning duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja delivered fantastically and did not allow Hong Kong bowlers to score big runs in the innings. After 10 overs, Hong Kong`s score read 65/2. Kinchit Shah tried to play some big shots and slammed a four on the delivery of Chahal to ease the pressure from his team. Jadeja gave his team a much-needed wicket as he dismissed Babar Hayat, who smashed 41 runs in 35 deliveries. Aizaz Khan smashed a boundary and a six on Avesh Khan`s deliveries.
Kinchit Shah started the 14th over with a four on Arshdeep Singh`s ball. Hong Kong team suffered another blow as Avesh Khan perfectly bowled out Aizaz Khan after scoring 14 in 13 balls. Virat Kohli delivered a superb over as he conceded only 6 runs without getting smashed for any big hits. Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave another blow to Hong Kong as he sent Kinchit Shah back into the hut after scoring 30 runs in 28 balls.
Zeeshan Ali slammed a six and Scott McKechnie in red-hot form hammered a six and back-to-back two fours on the delivery of Avesh Khan in the 19th over of the innings. In the last over, Zeeshan Ali slammed back-to-back two fours against Arshdeep Singh, but failed to take his team home and suffered a 40-run defeat against India.
Earlier, Virat Kohli`s much-anticipated fifty and Suryakumar Yadav`s blistering 68* guided India to 192/2 against Hong Kong.Kohli smashed an unbeaten 59 while Suryakumar scored 68* to guide India to a challenging total. For Hong Kong, Mohammad Ghazanfar and Ayush Shukla bagged one wicket each. Put to bat first, India got off to a flying start as their openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul hammered Hong Kong bowlers for 38 runs in under five overs. Rohit`s stint was cut short as he fell prey to Hong Kong`s Ayush Shukla`s delivery after scoring 21 runs in 13 balls. The Indian skipper mistimed his shot and was caught at mid-off.
The loss of the captain`s wicket invited Virat Kohli, who played every ball with caution and kept rotating the strike. Rahul shifted the gears and smashed the ball on the stands with a marvellous six on Aizaz Khan`s delivery. Kohli then joined Rahul in thrashing the bowlers and smashed his first boundary of the night of Mohammad Ghazanfar`s delivery.After 10 overs, the duo of Rahul and Kohli took India`s total to 70-1.
In the 11th over of the game, Hong Kong bowlers restricted India from scoring big shots.Mohammad Ghazanfar gave India a big blow as he dismissed KL Rahul, who scored 36 runs in 39 deliveries. His knock included two sixes.The hard-hitting batter Suryakumar Yadav entered the crease and scored back-to-back two fours of Yasim Murtaza`s bowling to ease the pressure on the Indian team.
With some blistering shots by Suryakumar, team India ended the 14th over with 107 runs on the board and a loss of two wickets.In the 16th over of the innings, Suryakumar smashed back to back six and a four. He continued the form and in the 18th over, he hammered perfect back-to-back two fours and a six of the deliveries of Ayush Shukla.In the 19th over of the innings, Kohli brought up his much-anticipated half-century. It came in 40 balls by slamming a perfect maximum on the ball of Ehsan Khan.
In the last over, Suryakumar slammed back-to-back three sixes followed by another six while also bringing up his half-century in 22 balls. Hong Kongs`s Haroon Arshad was hammered for 26 runs and India posted 192/2 on in 20 overs.
Brief score: India 192/2 (Suryakumar Yadav 68*, Virat Kohli 59*; Mohammad Ghazanfar 1-19) vs Hong Kong (Babar Hayat 41, Kinchit Shah 30; Ravindra Jadeja 1-15).