Anshuman Rath and his opening partner Nizakat Khan combined for a record opening wicket stand of 174 runs
Anshuman Rath and his opening partner Nizakat Khan combined for a record opening wicket stand of 174 runs

After getting bundled out for 116 in their Asia Cup 2018 opener against Pakistan two days earlier, not much was expected from Hong Kong against India, but the associate nation from Asia punched above their weight to put up a commendable fight, and according to their captain, Hong Kong should have beaten India.

“We were in a position to win and probably should have,” said skipper Anshuman Rath during the post match presentation. “We had a good start but lost too many key wickets in the middle but credit to the Indian bowlers. They bowled well and bowled to their plans”.

Rath and his opening partner Nizakat Khan combined for a record opening wicket stand of 174 runs and the team combined well to put in a credible performance both with the bat and the ball.

“We have had no pressure coming into the tournament and wanted to play with a smile on our faces on the big stage. We’ve done that and done ourselves proud,” said Rath, who scored 73 off 93 balls against India.

The last time, Hong Kong faced India, in 2014 in the Asia Cup, they were hammered by 256 runs. Today, they lost by just 26 runs and for Rath it was an opportunity wasted to roll over the best team in the world.

“Yes, (it) would have been great if we had rolled over the best team in the world, wasn’t to be but super proud of the boys,” said the 20-year-old and went on to laud his team’s performance.

“Loads of them (positives), Nizakat’s innings at the top was really good, he had been batting at 4 during the Qualifiers and gave the nod to bat up. Then our bowling in the death, gave just 48 off the last 10 overs and that against the best ODI side in the world really means a lot. Shows the brand of cricket we play. The way Shikhar batted, Rayudu batted well and they could have got 350 but we stuck at it in this heat to pull it back,” he added.