Hong Kong 166 for 6 (Afzal 42, Hayat 35) beat Afghanistan 162 for 6 (Stanikzai 51, Shenwari 34, Shafiqullah 30) by four wickets
Hong Kong cruised to a comfortable four-wicket win after chasing down 163 in the last over against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi. Tanwir Afzal blitzed a 22-ball 42, an innings that featured two fours and three sixes, to swing the momentum in Hong Kong's favour after they were stuttering at 89 for 4 in the 12th over.
Hong Kong's chase began slowly and the team soon also lost Kinchit Shah in the third over for 2. Though they managed to stitch substantial partnerships thereafter through brisk contributions from Babar Hayat (35 off 18), Mark Chapman (22) and Nizakat Khan (26), frequent wickets meant Afghanistan were still in with a shot.
Afzal and Nizakat added 55 for the fifth wicket in just 30 balls as the match drifted away from Afghanistan, and an equation of 24 off the last four overs was easily achieved in the end with two balls to spare. Karim Sadiq, Aftab Alam and Rokhan Barakzai picked up two wickets apiece.
Earlier, Afghanistan lost both their openers within the first four overs after choosing to bat. Asghar Stanikzai (51) then struck a counterattacking half-century and combined with Sadiq (22) and Samiullah Shenwari (34) in stands of 34 and 63 respectively to set up a strong platform for a late surge. Shafiqullah provided the required impetus late in the innings with a 16-ball 30 to lift Afghanistan to a score of 162 for 6.