The line-up for the 2018 Asian Men's Cup was completed after Hong Kong defeated the United Arab Emirates for two terrains (DLS method) in a rain-affected qualifier in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. With the narrow victory, Hong Kong reserved its place in the tournament that begins on September 15. They join India and Pakistan in Group A. A good carry of five Aizaz Khan grounds helped Hong Kong to restrict the UAE to 176/9 in 24 overs before Hong Kong pursued its revised target of 179 with three balls remaining.
Hong Kong started well, as Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath added 64 runs in just six overs to put their team ahead before Rohan Mustafa fired Nizakat, sending him back for a 20-ball 38.
Babar Hayat and Kinchit Shah followed Nizakat to the pavilion to leave the score with a reading of 68/3, which became 82/4 in the tenth inning when Ahmed Raza knocked Rath down by 28.
Ashfaq Ahmed played a blind man, scoring 79 in 51 balls.
The United Arab Emirates was at the front at that stage, but Christopher Carter (33 in 32 balls) and Ehsan Khan (29 in 24) made sure the game was in balance with a 53-run spot for the fifth wicket.
A dramatic game took another turn when Carter ran out and Mohammad Naveed hit twice in one to leave Hong Kong in a precarious 147/7.
Afzal fell from the last ball of the 23rd for a 12-ball 15, but Hong Kong only needed three runs at that moment, and they scored without much fuss, McKechnie finished unbeaten in 14 of 11 balls.
Aizaz Khan returned outstanding figures of 5/28.
Hong Kong will play its first Asian Cup match against Pakistan in Dubai on September 16, followed by the match against India, also in Dubai, on September 18.