Afghanistan (above) beat Hong Kong with six wickets to spare © Getty Images (File Photo)
Afghanistan (above) beat Hong Kong with six wickets to spare © Getty Images (File Photo)

Afghanistan registered a comfortable six-wicket win over Hong Kong in Group A Round 1, Match 6 of the ICC World T20 2016 at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur on Thursday. Hong Kong earlier won the toss and decided to bat. They remained unchanged from their previous game, whereas Afghanistan bought in Hamid Hassan in for Amir Hamza. They got a decent start with both the openers applying themselves in the pitch with JJ Atkinson and RJ Campbell scoring 16 and 27 respectively. These two players were taking their time and built a partnership of 40 runs. But Mohammad Nabi came into the bowling attack and changed the whole complexion of the match. With the first wicket taken by Rashid Khan to break the opening stand, it turned out to be the cause to Hong Kong’s fall. Within one over, Nabi removed both Babar Hayat and the well set RJ Campbell. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD:  Hong Kong  vs Afghanistan, ICC World T20 2016, Group B, Match 6 at Nagpur

After the fall of quick three wickets, MS Chapman and Anshuman Rath stuck in the middle and kept their wickets intact. But a bowling change Gulbadin Naib got his side the wicket of Chapman. Another small partnership was then formed between Anshuman and Nizakat Khan, but it was short lived as Nabi got Nizakat stumped for 8. KD Shah then came in the crease and settled the atmosphere with a small partnership of 22. Shah was then dismissed for 11 by Nabi for his fourth wicket. The final partnership between Anshuman, who ended 28 and Tanwir Afzal, 6 guided Hong Kong to a score of 116. All the bowlers for Afghanistan were brilliant, with Nabi and Rashid standing out.

Afghanistan side came out knowing they had to chase a mediocre score of 117 at less than 6 runs per over. For a change, Mohammad Shahzad started off cautiously by scoring singles in first few overs. On the other end, Noor Ali Zadran was taking on the bowlers scoring in boundaries. Both the batsman played with caution and precision to get their side off to a very good start, not losing any wickets in first 10 overs. Shahzad scored a brisk 41 of 40 balls before being caught of the bowling of RJ Campbell.

Seeing the stonghold in the game, Nabi was promoted up to No. 3 to get a run with the bat. Both Noor Ali and Nabi kept on guiding the balls for singles and rotating the strikes. Things got bad to worse for Hong Kong when Nabi was dropped by KD Shah when he was on six. Noor Ali also got a huge reprieve when he was adjudged not out by the umpire when the replays suggested he was plumb. After scoring two boundaries in two successive deliveries, Nabi was clean bowled by Campbell for his second wicket.

Out came then Najibullah, whose stay with Noor Ali was short lived as the latter was run out for 35. Out then came Shafiqullah, with 20 runs required in 5 overs. Both the players were slowly guiding their side home when Shafiqullah was caught and bowled by Nadeem Ahmed, leaving Afghanistan in a small bit of bother. Came in Gulbadin Naib to stay and guide his side home along with Najibullah. Both stayed at the crease and guided Afghanistan home with two overs to spare.

Brief scores

Hong Kong 116 for 6 in 20 Overs (Ryan Campbell 27, Anshuman Rath 28; Mohammad Nabi 4 for 20) lost to Afghanistan 119 for 4 in 18 Overs (Mohammad Shahzad 41, Noor Ali Zadran 35; Ryan Campbell 2 for 28) by 6 wickets.

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