Hong Kong 179 for 8 (Nizakat 38, Carter 33, Naveed 2-47) beat EAU 176 for 9 (Ashfaq 79, Aizaz 5-28, Nadeem 3-28) for two wickets (method D / L – match reduced to 24 overs on one side)
Hong Kong qualified for the Asian Cup on the side After a two-sale over the UAE in the final of the Qualifiers at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur.
Sent to beat, the UAE went 65 for 3 in the 16th when rain stopped their innings, reducing the game to 24 overs to the side. The excessive reduction forced the United Arab Emirates to accelerate, and managed to do so, scoring 111 in their remaining 8.3 overs. Opener Ashfaq Ahmed closed 36 of 11 after the rain to finish in 79 of 51 balls, and there were useful cameos of Shaiman Anwar, Muhammad Usman and Adnan Mufti as well.
But they also lost six more terrains in the process, and the Aizaz Khan sealant ended with figures of 5 by 28 while EAU finished in 176 by 9.
Chasing a target of 179 runs adjusted by DLS, Hong Kong was found with 147 for 7 in the 20th position, needing 32 to win the last 27 balls. The match could have turned in either direction, and Tanwir Afzal and Scott McKechnie made sure it was Hong Kong who slipped home, connecting two sixes and four while adding 29 for the eighth wicket. Tanwir fell when the equation was three of seven, but McKechnie and Ehsan Nawaz took the side of the house with three balls to spare.
Ashfaq and Chirag Suri gave the UAE an opening spot of 54 races before Tanwir caught Suri lbw by 11. Aizaz discarded Rohan Mustafa and Rameez Shahzad in quick succession, just before the rain broke. After resuming the game, the United Arab Emirates hitters changed course as Ashfaq and Shaiman Anwar added 58 in just 24 deliveries for the fourth wicket. The duo had special appreciation for Ehsan Khan, who leaked 55 of his three overs.
However, both Ashfaq and Shaiman fell in the same way on the spinner of the left arm Nadeem Ahmed, before Aizaz picked up three terrains in the penultimate part of the entries.
Nizakat Khan got the pursuit of Hong Kong on a wheel, crushing Mohammad Naveed by three successive fours in the third of the innings. Nizakat and Anshuman Rath added 64 for the first wicket in just six overs before the offshorner Rohan Mustafa got his breakthrough with the UAE throwing Nizakat for 20 balls 38. Amir Hayat and Kinchit Shah fell into the next, making it 68 by 3.
In 84 by 4, Christopher Carter and Ehsan Khan joined and put 53 for the fifth wicket to move Hong Kong to 44 runs of the goal with more than six overs remaining. The United Arab Emirates counterattacked with three fast court, but Tanwir and McKechnie remained calm to make sure Hong Kong finished on the right side.