Rashid Khan ended with a fifer © Getty Images
Rashid Khan ended with a fifer © Getty Images

Afghanistan hammered Hong Kong on Day 1 of Match 24 of the ICC Intercontinental Cup at Mong Kok, Hong Kong. Responding to Hong Kong’s first essay score of 142, Afghanistan took a lead of 128. Openers Javed Ahmadi and Ihsanullah Janat provided blistering start. The duo stitched a century stand. In the process, both notched up their fifties as well.

Anshuman Rath provided the much-needed breakthrough. Janat was gone after scoring 82-ball 63. However, the runs flowed from Ahmadi’s willow at will. Rahmat Shah the new batsman, was happy playing the second fiddle. They tormented the Hong Kong bowlers further with a 98-run stand for second wicket. Hong Kong soon heaved a sigh of relief when Ahmadi was run out by Kyle Christie for 108. His 113-ball stay comprised of 16 fours and 2 sixes.

It was then over to Rahmat and skipper Asghar Stanikzai who picked up from where the openers left. Meanwhile, Hong Kong pacers were punished. Aizaz Khan spilled 5 extras while Ehsan Khan was thrashed leaking 55 runs off his 13 overs.

On the other end, Stanikzai brought up his fifty while Rahman played a composed knock. The both remained unbeaten on 58 and 34 respectively.

The second session saw Hong Kong finding grip to an innings that they were losing from their hand. Waqas Barkat and Waqas Khan steadied the ship. The duo added 23-run stand to keep Afghanistan at bay. However, Dawlat Zadran was called into attack once again to trigger collapse.

Zadran got his second wicket of the in form Khan, breaking the momentum of Hong Kong once again. The wickets kept falling in succession thereafter.

Barkat played a lone battle finding little respite from Christie (16). But nothing could escape Rashid’s web. Rashid claimed a five-for to clean the Hong Kong innings for 142 with Barkat unbeaten on 23.

Put to bowl, Rashid along with Nabi and Zadran reduced Hong Kong to 95 for 6 before lunch. Babar Hayat was the top-scorer with a 47-ball 39.

Brief scores:

Hong Kong 142 all out (Babar Hayat 39, Waqas Barkat 23*; Rashid Khan 5 for 65, Dawlat Zadran 3 for 15) trail Afghanistan (Javed Ahmadi 108, Ihsanullah 63, Asghar Stanikzai 58*; Anshuman Rath 1 for 22) by 128 runs