Asia Cup: Pakistan vs Hong Kong Preview

Cricket ball and bails on field

Pakistan head into their clash with minnows Hong Kong as decided favourites, but will surely be wary of an upset that could torpedo their hopes of winning the tournament.

Hong Kong are probably just happy to be at the Asia Cup, and playing in ODI cricket, but they are a tricky prospect and will play with the freedom of the underdog.

Pakistan v Hong Kong | Sunday 16 September | Dubai International Stadium | 13:30     

To Win Match     
Pakistan 1/33
Tie 35/1 
Hong Kong 10/1

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has said that he won't be underestimating Hong Kong in this opening clash. The Asian giants know that defeat to Hong Kong will present India with a chance to send Pakistan packing early.

Having not had a whole lot of international cricket in recent months, Pakistan will begin their process of zeroing in on the World Cup - and they have named a strong squad for this tournament.

Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq will look to cement their partnership at the top of the order, after a promising start to their association.

All-rounders Faheem Ashraf and Asif Ali are arguably two of the most exciting players in the team, lending depth to the batting with their explosive skills with the willow, coupled with their bowling. Add to that the improvement in Shadab Khan's batting and the balance of this Pakistan team looks rock solid.

Shadab is a prime candidate to end as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with his top-notch leg-spin.

Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali will bring the kind of pace and quality Hong Kong would seldom have seen in the Associate circles - and will test the minnows from the outset.

Pakistan play most of their home games in the UAE, which effectively gives them home ground advantage.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong do not sport a line-up full of big names, but they have played above themselves to get to this tournament - and are eager to keep the dream alive.

Led by Anshuman Rath, a large number of Hong Kong's squad were born on the island, where in years gone by the side was dominated by expats.

Babar Hayat is their biggest threat with the bat - and had been the skipper until shortly before the qualifiers.

Paceman Aizaz Khan starred in the qualifier final - and is expected to lead the Hong Kong attack.

For Hong Kong, this tournament provides an opportunity for them to play matches against cricket giants in Pakistan and India, and for them participation is as good as a win.

Verdict: Pakistan 1/33
There will be an inquisition if Pakistan lose this match.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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