Aizaz Khan Asia Cup Qualifiers 2018, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, Hong Kong, Nepal, Oman
Aizaz Khan (file photo) took 5 for 28 in the final Getty Images

Hong Kong will join India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in the main stage of Asia Cup 2018. They beat UAE in a thriller in the final of the Qualifiers, at Kinrara Oval, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Chasing 179 in 24 overs in a rain-hit match, Hong Kong needed 32 at one stage in 27 balls with three wickets standing, but wicketkeeper Scott McKechnie (14*) and Tanwir Afzal (15) added a crucial 29-run stand in 21 balls to seal the match. McKechnie and Ehsan Nawaz then finished things in singles.

Nizakat Khan (38 in 20 balls) and captain Anshuman Rath (28 in 25) started the chase, adding 64 in 37 balls. UAE hit back with four quick wickets including both Nizakat and Rath, and suddenly the score read 82 for 4. However, the initial onslaught meant Hong Kong needed 97 in 85 balls, so Christopher Carter (32) and Ehsan Khan (29) could play themselves in.

But UAE hit back again, this time getting three batsmen back in the space of 11 balls, before finding resistance in McKechnie and Afzal.

Earlier, UAE had amassed 176 for 9 in 24 overs after being put in to bat. UAE were 52 without loss in 12 overs before a triple-blow reduced them to 65 for 3 in 15.2 overs. Then rain intervened. Once back, Ashfaq Ahmed (79 off 51 balls) led a furious onslaught, helping UAE add another 111 in the remaining 52 balls. Aizaz Khan finished with 5 for 28 and Nadeem Ahmed with 3 for 28; the three overs of Ehsan Khan, on the other hand, went for 55.

Brief scores:

UAE 176 for 9 in 24 overs (Ashfaq Ahmed 79; Aizaz Khan 5 for 28, Nadeem Ahmed 3 for 28) lost to Hong Kong 179 for 8 in 23.3 overs (Nizakat Khan 38; Mohammad Naveed 2 for 47) by 2 wickets with 3 balls to spare (DLS method).