Usman Khan took three wickets before opener Imam-ul-Haq hit an unbeaten fifty as Pakistan notched up a dominating eight-wicket win over Hong Kong in a group A match of the Asia Cup in Dubai on Sunday.
Electing to bat, Hong Kong folded for a paltry 116 in 37.1 overs, courtesy Usman’s 3/19 and two-wicket hauls by Shadab Khan (2/31) and Hasan Ali (2/19).
Pakistan then returned to overhaul the target, scoring 120/2 in 23.4 overs, built mainly around opener Imam’s 69-ball unbeaten 50 that was laced with three fours and a six.
Chasing 117 to win, Pakistan made a good start with Imam and Fakhar Zaman sharing a 41-run partnership in eight overs for the opening wicket.
Pakistan lost their first wicket when Fakhar was caught by McKechnie off Ehsan Khan’s ball in the ninth over.
Imam and new man Babar then added 52 runs to take the team close to the target.
Babar hit three fours and a six in his 36-ball 33 before being caught behind by Mckechnie for Ehsan’s second wicket.
Shoaib Malik (9) hit the winning runs, blasting Aizaz for a boundary in the 24th over.
Earlier, seamer Usman (3/19) emerged as the highest wicket-taker, while Shadab Khan (2/31) and Hasan Ali (2/19) also snapped two wickets and Faheem Ashraf accounted for one as Pakistan thoroughly exposed the weakness of Hong Kong, who won the 2018 Asia Cup Qualifier to make it to the tournament.
Kinchit Shah (26) and Aizaz Khan (27) were the top-scorers for Hong Kong, while skipper Anshuman Rath contributed 19. Hong Kong couldn’t negotiate the top quality bowling from Pakistan.