1.30 am: In about 15 hours from now, Rohit Sharma will be back out for the toss with Sarfaraz. It’ll be time for India v Pakistan. If India thought they could have had an easy outing, Hong Kong gave them a mighty scare though!

Player of the match: Shikhar Dhawan

1.10 am: This result officially knocks Hong Kong out of the tournament and ensures India and Pakistan will play twice. The captain is understandably proud of the side.

‘It’s bittersweet. Proud of our effort but we could have won this game’: Anshuman Rath, Hong Kong captain.

Chin up, Anshuman. One heck of an effort from your side.

END OF THE MATCH: India win by 26 runs

So Hong Kong were alive in the run-chase till the 100th over of the match against the world No. 2 side, India. That sums up what a brilliant effort it was.

49.1: Khaleel gets his third wicket on debut, a return catch to dismiss Ehsan. Hong Kong 256/8

Hong Kong 256/7 after 49 overs - need 30 off 6 balls

Bhuvi finishes with 0/50 in his 9 overs. Looked rusty, perhaps understandably so. Four of the last ball by Afzal to keep Hong Kong just about alive in this match.

Hong Kong 249/7 after 48 overs - need 37 off 12 balls

Another impressive over from Khaleel, just three off it. He has been on the money in his second and third spells.

This is now Hong Kong’s best total against a top 10 side in ODIs.

Hong Kong 247/6 after 47 overs - need 40 from 18 balls

WICKET #50 for Kuldeep Yadav in ODIs! Becomes the second quickest Indian to get to that landmark after Ajit Agarkar. McKechnie fails to read a googly, stumped by Dhoni.

Afzal finishes that over with a six! Hong Kong just won’t go down without a fight... brilliant effort.

Hong Kong 230/6 after 45 overs (56 runs required from 30 balls)

Chahal gets his 2nd and 3rd wickets, bowling his last over. Kinchit slogs, finds Dhawan at point. Then Aizaz Khan is gone for a first-ball duck. LBW, as he failed to read the googly. Chahal finishes with 3/46 in his 10 overs.

Hong Kong 227/4 after 44 overs - need 59 runs from 6 overs

Not quite done yet, still. 13 runs from Chahal’s over that starts with a six over deep midwicket by Kinchit. Five singles and a double in Bhuvi’s over as Hong Kong just about stay alive in this run-chase.

Hong Kong 207/4 after 42 overs

Bhuvi comes back and concedes just four in his over.

Hong Kong 203/4 after 41 overs - need 83 runs from 54 balls

Chahal gets his first wicket of the night as the dangerous Babar Hayat edges one to Dhoni and walks.

Tamil song ‘Apdi podu’ blares on the stadium speakers and the fans cheer as India sense a win in Dubai... for the first time in this innings, one can say definitively that India are on top.

Hong Kong 198/3 after 40 overs - need 88 runs from 60 balls

KHALEEL GETS ANOTHER! Carter’s gone and Khaleel has his 2nd ODI wicket in quick succession. Around the wicket, gets the ball to straighten a bit and the outside edge is taken by MS Dhoni.

But don’t go away yet, Babar Hayat finishes that over with a brutal hit straight down the ground. A good length ball smashed past the boundary line for six.

Hong Kong 191/2 after 39 overs

SIX! Babar Hayat, what a hit! Dances down the track and hits a 85-meter six off Kuldeep, after struggling to pick him in the previous few deliveries. Not done yet, this game... Kuldeep has one over remaining.

Hong Kong 183/2 after 38 overs - need 103 runs from 12 overs

The new batsmen are struggling to read Kuldeep. Just 2 from his over...

Babar shows he can bat, with a powerful drive through covers for four. HKG might well decide to go down swinging here...

Hong Kong 175/2 after 36 overs - need 111 runs from 14 overs - WICKET!

You wait so long for one, and then two come along... Khaleel Ahmed removes Nizakat Khan on 92, gets his first wicket in India’s colours! Around the wicket, lands on a good length. Nizakat misses it completely, given out LBW. The batsman reviews it and it’s 3 reds on DRS.

What a knock by Nizakat though... take a bow! And well played Kuldeep Yadav for shaking hands with Nizakat on his way out. Lovely moment. Man deserved a century.

Hong Kong 174/1 after 35 overs - need 112 runs from 15 overs

WICKET! Finally for India! Anshuman Rath, the 20-year-old Hong Kong captain, is dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav for a brilliant 73. India have something to celebrate finally.

And it’s a maiden wicket for Kuldeep too as he bamboozles the new batsman Babar with a series of wrong ‘uns.

Is that the over that changes things around for India?

Well played, Anshuman, though. What a knock by the youngster!

Hong Kong 174/0 after 34 overs - need 112 runs from 16 overs

It’s still perhaps the question of getting one wicket for India and put the brakes on Hong Kong but it’s now been 34 overs... and it’s the highest partnership for HKG in ODIs! Khaleel comes back and concedes a boundary in that over to keep the men in blue under pressure

DRINKS: Hong Kong are 167/0 after 33 overs (119 runs required from 17 overs)

India are yet to find a breakthrough in Dubai tonight... WHAT A PARTNERSHIP THIS HAS BEEN! Nervy times for Indian fans...

Meanwhile, Rath put in one of the most awkward dives you’ll see in cricket (see below) but most importantly, reaches on time to be safe from a Kuldeep direct hit. What commitment!

Hong Kong 164/0 after 32 overs

150 partnership! Shardul Thakur is having a horror night. Releases the pressure built up by the spinners with a 13-run over. Two poor balls, one each to Rath and Khan.

Kedar Jadhav from the other end and Rath smashes him over midwicket for a six off the first ball! Another big over.

By the way, apologies for failing to mention Anshuman Rath also got to his fifty a couple of overs back. He’s now batting on 69 off 90 now, while Nizakat has 86 off 105 balls.

Hong Kong 144/0 after 30 overs - 142 needed from 120 balls

Required run-rate has gone past 7 though and that is starting to show on Nizakat who gets away with a couple of loose shots off Kedar Jadhav... gets away with it.

Shardul comes back into the attack, can he recover from a poor first spell?

Hong Kong, meanwhile, have not hit a boundary since the 19th over.

Hong Kong 139/0 after 29 overs - 147 needed from 126 balls

Jadhav finishes another tight over, conceding just two runs.

Time for pace from the other end, as Bhuvi comes back into the attack. Is this when Hong Kong make a move to deal with the increasing run rate? Bhuvi concedes just four, but already signs from Nizakat that he is going to change gears.

Hong Kong 133/0 after 27 overs

Kedar Jadhav, like he usually does, is quietly doing a good job for his captain. Five dot balls and a single from his fourth over. The pressure still on India but the runs are drying up for Hong Kong... a mistake could be imminent.

Kuldeep from the other end... and he concedes just two as well. Almost had Nizakat edging one through the bat-pad gap.

Hong Kong 130/0 after 25 overs

India have managed to stem the flow of runs for now. The req’d rate has creeped up beyond six, but this is a period of consolidation for Hong Kong clearly, after that fiery start. Three runs from Jadhav’s over, six runs from Kuldeep’s.

Stephen Fleming, on air, says what must concern Rohit the most is how easily these two have managed to pick up Chahal and Kuldeep — even if the spin twins haven’t conceded too many runs, the HKG batsmen haven’t exactly been troubled.

Hong Kong 121/0 after 23 overs

Kedar Jadhav has a loud LBW appeal turned down in his over, and India don’t have a review.

Change of ends for Kuldeep and he concedes just two. Turn on offer, there.

Hong Kong 115/0 after 21 overs

With a four straight down the ground off Kedar Jadhav, Nizakat Khan (67*) now has the highest individual score for Hong Kong in ODIs against a top-10 side. The milestones keep coming up...

Chahal finishes his 6th over (only 4 left for him now, yet to take a wicket!) conceding 5 runs.

Nizakat meanwhile is struggling in the middle now. Limping about, possibly due to cramps?

Hong Kong 104/0 after 19 overs

100 up! Nizakat plays a lovely lofted shot for four in Kuldeep’s over and Hong Kong bring up their 100 in the 18th over. First ever 100-run opening wicket stand in Hong Kong’s ODI history. Nine runs from that Kuldeep over.

Chahal concedes three from the other end as India continue to search for that first wicket.

Time for Kedar Jadhav now...

Hong Kong 92/0 after 17 overs

Just one run from Chahal’s over but India need wickets. Rath and Khan clearly looking to play out the leggies without losing their wicket — they know this Indian bowling lineup is there for the taking otherwise.

Hong Kong 91/0 after 16, need 195 runs from 34 overs - DRINKS

REVIEW LOST: Kuldeep deceives Nizakat with a wrong ‘un. A loud appeal for LBW results in a reluctant review by Rohit. Turns out it pitched outside leg.

India under pressure as the players break for drinks. This match might well come down to how well Kuldeep and Chahal bowl.

Hong Kong 89/0 after 15 overs

DROPPED? It does look like that, as Chahal puts down a low return catch. Anshuman Rath the beneficiary. India continue to remain sloppy on the field. This is also Hong Kong’s highest ever opening stand in ODIs. That over started with a rank full toss by Chahal that was slapped over midwicket.

After 14 overs, Hong Kong 83/0

Kuldeep introduced after that poor over by Thakur. Starts off with a wrong ‘un to Rath. Just three from that over.

After 13 overs, Hong Kong 80/0

Couple of half-hearted appeals from Chahal for LBW against Rath but nothing comes of it. Three from that over, sensible batting.

After 12 overs, Hong Kong 77/0 - FIFTY FOR NIZAKAT KHAN!

11th over: Chahal starts with a wide to Rath but finds his rhythm soon enough. Four runs from his first over.

12th over: WHAT AN OVER FOR HONG KONG! 17 runs from it! Shardul starts with a no-ball and Nizakat hits the free hit for four, slicing over third man. Poor bowling, after bringing third man up into the circle. And it’s another no ball! That’s just a single though. 9 runs from that one ball effectively though. He oversteps again in that over, and the resulting free hit is slapped over midwicket for a SIX, and that’s also a FIFTY for Nizakat Khan!

Hong Kong 56/0 after 10 overs

End of the first powerplay:
India 56/1
Hong Kong 56/0

Anshuman Rath with another fantastic shot through the offside in that Shardul over for four.

Unsurprisingly, spin introduced the moment the powerplay is done. Chahal comes into the attack...

Hong Kong 47/0 after 9 overs

Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Nizakat Khan:
Two boundaries in the 7th over.
Two boundaries in the 9th over.

Bhuvi is struggling with line and length, goes short to Nizakat either side of the wicket and punished with an upper cut and a pull for two more fours to his name.

Solid start this for Hong Kong!

Hong Kong 37/0 after 8 overs

Nizakat is looking in great touch, now two boundaries in one over off Bhuvneshwar – a straight punch followed by a leg glance.

Shardul Thakur replaces Khaleel at the other end and surprises Nizakat with a well-directed bouncer. Just two runs in that over.

Hong Kong 26/0 after 6 overs

Couple of quiet overs for Hong Kong. Rath gets off the mark with a mistimed loft over mid-off in Bhuvi’s over but finishes Khaleel’s over with the short of the innings so far — a rasping on-the-up drive through covers for four.

Hong Kong 17/0 after 4 overs

Two boundaries for Nizakat in that over. Khaleel offers width, crunched through point for four. For the second boundary, DK with a misfield at point.

Dhoni has a word with Khaleel after the over, giving him words of advice.

Hong Kong 9/0 after 3 overs

Bhuvi is not quite getting his fourth stump line going against the right-hander, offering width. Nizakat gets three with a push to cover point. Bhuvi then beats Rath with one that held the angle while an outside edge fell short of Dhawan.

The HKG captain yet to get off the mark after facing six balls.

Hong Kong 6/0 after 2 overs

Good first over from Khaleel, settling into a nice early rhythm. For those who missed him in action in the IPL for Sunrisers, check out his Mitchell Starc -esque landing stride at the crease. Good bowler to emulate if you are looking to make it at the big stage.

Hong Kong 5/0 after 1 over

Bhuvi gets things underway in the second innings. A four off the first ball for Nizakat as she edges one over Dhawan at slip.

Time for Khaleel Ahmed, running into bowl his first over in India colours...

INNINGS BREAK: The highlight of India’s innings was the partnership between Dhawan and Rayudu, with Dhawan getting to his 14th ODI ton while Rayudu made a solid 60. Batting wasn’t easy for new batsmen coming into the middle towards the end, that’s worth keeping in mind. But take nothing away from the brilliant effort of the Hong Kong bowlers.

Join us shortly for the run-chase...

Target for Hong Kong: 286

END OF INDIA’S INNINGS - 285/7 in 50 overs (Jadhav 29*, Kuldeep 0*)

Kedar Jadhav starts off with a couple of doubles. A good wide yorker takes him off strike as Shardul scampers for a single. Tries going for a big shot himself, but is dismissed for a duck. Kedar Jadhav on strike for the last 2 balls but still can’t get underneath the balls. Great last couple of overs by Aizaz.

India 277/9 after 49 overs

Bhuvi’s struggles in the middle come to an as he falls for a 18-ball 9. Kinchit Shah has his third wicket — what a spell by the off-spinner. Finishes with 3 wickets in his 9-over spell for 37 runs.

India 274/5 after 48 overs

Bhuvi not quite able to get going at the death here, batting on 8 off 16 balls. Just the four runs from that over by Aizaz despite starting off with a wide.

India 271/5 after 47 overs

46th over: SIX! Kedar Jadhav special. As he often makes you wonder, did that shot really come out of the man of Jadhav’s stature? Generates great power, thanks to sheer timing, as he comes down the track and hits a straight six.

47th over: And what a spell this has been by Kinchit Shah at the other end. Concedes just three runs and has figures of 37/2 after 8 overs. A dropped chance off his own bowling in that over too but that was powerfully hit by Jadhav.

Last 5 overs, India have scored 24 runs.

India 256/5 after 45 overs

Kedar Jadhav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are consolidating after those three quick wickets. No boundaries, just rotating strike for now. 300 doesn’t seem likely.

41st over: Dhawan dismissed
42nd over: Dhoni dismissed for a duck
43rd over: DK dismissed From 240/2 to 248/5.

About that Indian middle order...... the headache persists.

India 251/5 after 43 overs - DK gone! India lose a third quick wicket...

OUT! Three wickets in three overs for Hong Kong! DK is out trying to play the big sweep, a lovely catch at deep square leg by Babar. Kinchit gets another. India’s middle order continues to be a problem area...

India 247/4 after 42 overs - Dhoni gone for a duck!

OUT! OH DEAR. MSD is gone for a duck! Ehsan Khan gets his 2nd wicket and he is delighted! Dhoni walks after edging it to the keeper. Ehsan kisses the turf! Means so much to him.

The MS Dhoni debate to start again in 3... 2... 1...

India 241/3 after 41 overs - Dhawan dismissed

OUT! Oh well, Dhawan is dismissed as he went for another slog sweep. Kinchit gets his man. And loud cheers from the crowd in Dubai... Guess why?

Yep, Dhoni has just walked out to bat.

India 237/2 after 40 overs (Dhawan 126, DK 25)

39th over: Dhawan is going to go all out here, evidently. Starts Kinchit’s over with a four through long on. 8 from that over. DK is still finding it difficult to middle consistently.

40th over: DK now connects a sweep finally, off Ehsan Khan, getting a four at the start of the over. Dhawan then brings his bottom hand into play (a bit of a helicopter finish to that slog sweep?) A 85-meter six over midwicket, his second big hit of the match.

India 216/2 after 38 overs (Dhawan 113, DK 17)

37th over: A loud appeal for LBW by Kinchit but the ball has raced to the fine leg boundary.

38th over: Ehsan continues, and looks like Dhawan wants to sweep-sweep-sweep now. Hits his first six of the innings, picking up from outside offstump and sending it soaring over square leg. Hasn’t swept much so far today and perhaps this is in preparation for Shadab and Co on Wednesday. Tries a fancy reverse sweep off the final ball off the over (was that a switch hit?) — Hong Kong review and it’s comfortably missing the stumps. Impact well outside off.

India 198/2 after 36 overs (Dhawan 100, DK 14)

CENTURY! 14th ODI ton for Shikhar Dhawan and his tremendous record in white-ball cricket in 2018 continues. Will he make it a ‘daddy hundred?’ Gets to the landmark to a single through point off Ehsan.

Meanwhile, DK gets going with a lovely cover drive – his first properly timed, placed shot of the innings so far.

India 189/2 after 35 overs (Dhawan 97, DK 7)

Kinchit Shah introduced into the attack in the 33rd over for his gentle off-spinners, concedes just 2 runs in his first over and four in the second.

Another bouncer from Ehsan Nawaz in the nex over to the cap-wearing Shikhar Dhawan, another four through fine leg. Into the 90s now. DK, meanwhile, is struggling to get going in this innings. Gets a free-hit off Ehsan, but his attempted heave barely clears the umpire.

India 176/2 after 32 overs (Dhawan 89, DK 3)

INTERESTING. Dhawan, batting without his helmet against medium-pacer Ehsan Nawaz, is tested by a couple of bouncers. Leaves the first one, hits the second for four through fine leg. Finishes the over with a good looking shot through covers for four. Beautiful follow through, high elbow, straight bat.

Question: As an aside... do you think batsmen should mandatorily wear helmets against quicks? Is this unnecessary bravado?

India 166/2 after 31 overs (Dhawan 80, DK 2)

End of a lovely spell of tight spin bowling from Nadeem Ahmed. He finishes his 10 overs without a wicket but conceded just 39 runs. Has helped his side to prevent India from taking off in the middle overs.

India 163/2 after 30 overs (Dhawan 78, DK 1) - Rayudu dismissed!

What. A. Catch! Keeper Scott McKechnie, standing up to the stumps for medium-pacer Nawaz, takes a high catch off an attempted upper cut by Rayudu. Good bowling change, and it seemed like a planned dismissal to bowl a bouncer with the keeper standing up.

A good innings comes to an end on 60 for Rayudu. India 161/2.

India 161/1 after 29 overs (Dhawan 77, Rayudu 60)

29th over: Perhaps aided by the confidence of going past his 50, Rayudu smacks Nadeem over mid-wicket for a six. That was all timing, middling a sweep shot in some style.

India 152/1 after 28 overs - FIFTY FOR RAYUDU!

FIFTY! Ambati Rayudu cuts, and cuts hard, and with a boundary to third man, scores his 7th ODI fifty. That’s his 5th fifty plus score batting at No 3 as well. Solid innings so far.

India 146/1 after 27 overs (Dhawan 75*, Rayudu 47*)

26th over: Rayudu, inching towards a half century on his comeback to the Indian side, plays a good-looking pull shot off Aizaz for a four, moves on to 45.

27th over: Nadeem into his 8th over. And it’s another tight over by the left-armer. 8-0-27-0 are his figures now. Hasn’t really come close to taking a wicket but this is disciplined bowling.

100-partnership comes up between Rayudu and Dhawan

India 135/1 after 25 overs (Dhawan 72*, Rayudu 39*)

24th over: Aizaz Khan brought back into the attack after just one over for Tanwir as Rath tries to get some control from the other end with Nadeem going well. Aizaz does well, concedes just three singles. Russell Arnold, meanwhile, informs on air that Rayudu had a visit from the physio. Starting to look exhausted now, but these are trying conditions. India will have an eye on tomorrow too, of course.

25th over: Nadeem continues. A rare moment in the match — a LBW appeal! Not close though. The ball is going through with the angle, missing leg stump. First instance of the sweep too, perhaps, by Rayudu.

Nadeem is bowling a great spell from one end but India continue to keep the scoredboard ticking.

India 128/1 after 23 overs (Dhawan 66*, Rayudu 36*)

21st over: After no boundary in the first 37 balls he faced, Rayudu first cleared the fence with a six off Nizakat in the previous over and then strokes a lovely four off Nadeem now. He’s looking in good touch.

22nd over: Nizakat just gets one over, after he was taken for 15 runs. Tanwir Afzal comes back into the attack and India are looking to up the ante now. Dhawan with a lofted off drive through long off for a four. Run rate reaching 6 RPO now.

23rd over: Nadeem continues and India continue to treat him with respect. Just three runs from that over. His figures now read 6-0-19-0

India 109/1 after 20 overs (Dhawan 56*, Rayudu 22*)

FIFTY! There’s the half century for Shikhar Dhawan. Back playing white ball cricket, back looking in control. 26th ODI fifty for the Indian opener and he gets there with a lovely cover drive for a couple. Celebrates getting to the landmark by pulling Nizakat, the leg-spinner, for four.

SIX for Ambati Rayudu! His first boundary of the innings, and it’s gone all the way. Short ball by the leggie, smashed over midwicket. Looks like India are targetting the wrist-spinner here.

India 94/1 after 19 overs (Dhawan 48*, Rayudu 22*)

17th over: Another steady over from Nadeem, who concedes just a single to Rayudu and keeps Dhawan pegged on 45 for the rest of the over. Understandably watchful from the Indian opener too, given it’s the first over after drinks.

18th over: Unlike Nadeem though, the slower pace of Ehsan has meant that Rayudu and Dhawan can rotate the strike easier in his overs. Five singles there. Rayudu is yet to score his first boundary, by the way. Could a big shot be on the way?

19th over: After a couple of dot balls against Nadeem, Rayudu tries to charge down the track and hit a couple of big shots but cannot quite get them away. Nadeem, in a rare instance, errs in length off the last ball, perhaps put off by Rayudu using his feet. A rank short ball, but Rayudu can’t find the fence. Another two runs to his name.

India 84/1 after 16 overs

DRINKS: And a much-needed one for all the players in the middle. Dhawan is on his way to a solid half century, with another cut shot off Ehsan Khan for four. He’s on 45*.

India 75/1 after 15 overs.

13th over: Nadeem, with a series of quicker-ones, finishes his first over in a hurry. Ravindra Jadeja would be proud. Just one scoring shot in that over, a couple through midwicket for Rayudu.

14th over: Ehsan, much slower through the air, continues from the other end. Four singles in that over, as the players just jog between the wickets to complete their runs. The middle overs could see a lot of this.

15th over: Nadeem continues to fire it in, concedes three singles in the over.

More spin. Left-arm spinner Nadeem replaces medium-pacer Aizaz.

India 68/1 after 12 overs.

11th over: Shikhar Dhawan continues to punish any mistake from the Hong Kong bowlers on length, this time a short ball pulled with disdain to the midwicket fence for four. Rayudu gets a couple of runs with a mistimed lofted cover drive.

12th over: Ehsan Khan with another steady over, just four singles from it.

END OF POWERPLAY: India 56/1 after 10 overs.

A typically steady start to an ODI innings for India, except for the blow of losing Rohit Sharma. Dhawan with 2 boundaries in the 10th over off Ehsan Khan, both cut away through the third man region. Looking good here, is Dhawan.

India 48/1 after 9 overs

Good over from Aizaz Khan, a testing yorker to Ambati Rayudu – the new batsman – and it is just about dug out, Rayudu gets a couple of runs for it, to get off the mark.

Last over of the powerplay coming up.

India 45/1 after 8 overs - WICKET!

How many of you had bet on a Rohit Sharma daddy hundred? Well, cricket is a game of uncertainties, as they say. The Indian captain is out for 23, getting a leading edge against off-spinner Ehsan Khan. Spin strikes in the very first over, just a hint of turn there. Poor shot by Rohit, though. It was there to be hit with the spin.

Rohit Sharma, out for 23. Ehsan Khan with the wicket.

India 44/0 after 7 overs

The Indian openers, understandably (given the heat), are dealing in dots and boundaries at the moment.

In the last 5 overs:

7 Fours
3 Ones
20 dot balls

India 42/0 after 6 overs

Four dot balls, followed by back-to-back boundaries for Dhawan, who’s now starting to middle the ball better than he was earlier. The first of the two boundaries, a wonderful square drive.

India 34/0 after 5 overs

4.1: Afzal to Dhawan, FOUR, flicked through midwicket.
4.5: Afzal to Rohit, FOUR, lofted over mid-on
4.6: Afzal to Rohit, FOUR, lofted towards wide long-on

India off to a brisk start, and the danger signs are there for Hong Kong

India 21/0 after 4 overs

No more rotating the strike business it’d seem. Another over with five dot balls and a four, this time Rohit Sharma gives Nawaz the charge and squeezes one through square leg for four.

India 17/0 after 3 overs

And Dhawan gets his first boundary in the third over — a powerful cut through cover. But Afzal follows that up with five dot balls, giving Dhawan no room to work with.

India 13/0 after 2 overs

Nawaz from the other end. His stock delivery is the one that shapes away from Rohit and comes back into Dhawan, the latter quite watchful early on. Four ones and a two in that over, as Dhawan and Rohit decide to get some exercise going in the early overs here.

India 7/0 after 1 over

A gorgeous cover drive in the first over to get Rohit Sharma going. Good steady over from Afzal, just that one full delivery outside off which got punished. Both Rohit and Dhawan rotating the strike well.

5.00 pm: Right here we go, Dhawan and Rohit walk out in the middle.

Here’s some reading for you on Sri Lanka’s elimination.

4.53 pm: POLL

How many runs do you think India will score today? Remember, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a massive score given the conditions. First innings score aren’t that high in Dubai, traditionally.

4.45 pm: TEAMS


Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (W), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav


Anshuman Rath (C), Nizakat Khan, Babar Hayat, Christopher Carter, Kinchit Shah, Aizaz Khan, Scott McKechnie (W), Tanwir Afzal, Ehsan Khan, Ehsan Nawaz, Nadeem Ahmed

4.35 pm: TOSS

Hong Kong win the toss and opt to... BOWL first.

Sweating profusely already, Rohit Sharma says he’s excited about leading his team out in the Asia Cup which is the “biggest tournament in Asia”... He’ll be out to bat soon with Shikhar Dhawan.

The big news is that Khaleel Ahmed will indeed make his debut.

4.23 pm: What Rohit Sharma had to say in the lead up to this match...

“I can’t say who will play where,” said Rohit. “The No 3, No 4, No 6 is still up for grabs. There are many players who are eyeing these places.

“We want to give chances to as many players as possible and I know they are keen to sealing their spot. But, I am yet to speak to the coach, so we will decide the final XI by tomorrow just before we enter the field.”

With the World Cup on the horizon, though, Rohit insisted that the process though was being looked at urgently.

“The middle-order is definitely not settled. But, it gives an opportunity for the players to come in and seal the spot. As a captain one wants the team to be settled,” he said.

“We want everyone to feel safe and settled so they can play freely. I guess the team is looking fresh and just need a comfortable game to get into their groove.

“We want to give chances to as many players as possible. At the same time, we need to see how an individual responds to conditions. We will see how they respond to the conditions and take a decision based on that decision,” he added.

4:20 pm: Hello all and welcome to The Field’s live blog of the India - Hong Kong clash at the Asia Cup. Rohit Sharma and Co begin India’s title defence a day after Sri Lanka were eliminated from the tournament. All eyes will be on India’s batting lineup during the tournament... and the marquee event(s) that are the India-Pakistan clashes. But for tonight, the focus will be on India v Hong Kong.

Skipper Rohit Sharma is hopeful that the Asia Cup will prove beneficial in India’s search for a stable middle-order.

Speaking ahead of the team’s Asia Cup opener against Hong Kong, Rohit said the competition to seal the spots was quite intense, but added that the players vying for the spot were up to the task.

More on that as we build up to the toss.