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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Ahmadi, Stanikzai tons lead Hong Kong rout

Afghanistan 465 for 5 dec (Stanikzai 125, Ahmadi 108) beat Hong Kong 142 (Hayat 39, Rashid 5-65) & 150 (Rath 59*, Zahir 4-16) by an innings and 173 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Centuries from Javed Ahmadi and Asghar Stanikzai coupled with Rashid Khan's seven-wicket match-haul consigned Hong Kong to an innings-defeat inside two days in the Intercontinental Cup match in Mong Kok. The hosts, having won the toss, couldn't make more than 150 in either innings, handing table-leaders Afghanistan their fifth win in six games and a full 20 points.

Hong Kong's struggle with the bat was evinced in all batsmen barring Anshuman Rath, who scored a half-century in either innings. For Afghanistan, fast bowler Dawlat Zadran began the rout in the seventh over of the match, sniping out opener Matt Stiller for six. Thereafter, Rashid ran through the line-up, abetting Zadran's figures of 3 for 15 off nine overs, with a third first-class five-for. That the highest partnership - in the game - for the home team was only worth 41 runs for the third wicket - between captain Babar Hayat (39) and Nizakat Khan (16) was further testimony to their inability to gather any momentum through either innings.

Having skittled Hong Kong out for 142, Afghanistan stitched together three mammoth partnerships on the back of five of their six batsmen scoring fifty-plus. Afghanistan, who had finished on 270 for 2 at stumps on day one, plundered another 195 runs in 41 overs for the loss of three wickets, before declaring. Ahmadi, who collected more than half his runs in boundaries - 16 fours and two sixes - anchored the opening stand of 124 with Ihsanullah (63), before adding 78 for the second wicket with Rahmat Shah, who took 126 for his 57. Coming in at No.4, captain Stanikzai put on 161 for the third wicket with Rahmat, en route to his 129-ball 125. Stanikzai followed it up with a ram-raid of a partnership with Mohammad Nabi that fetched their side 98 runs at a scoring rate of 7.63.

Debutant Kyle Christie, who had earlier ran Ahmadi out, became the fourth bowler in the Hong Kong attack to pick up a wicket in the match with Nabi's dismissal in the 88th. By then, however, Afghanistan had put on 465 for 5, with Nabi finishing on 63 off 44 balls.

With a first-innings lead of 323 to fall back on, Afghanistan's charge with the ball was led again by the Rashid-Zadran combine who took out the top four before Zahir Khan steamrolled the lower order, picking four wickets for 16 runs. Rashid, Zadran and Nabi bagged two wickets apiece as Hong Kong failed to last 40 overs.