Mark Chapman, Hong Kong's No. 4, is not a tall man and plays most of his shots along the ground with a compact technique. But against Dawlat Zadran, he came forward to try pull off the front foot, only to wear the delivery on the grille of his helmet. His legs buckled but, after whirling back to his feet, he appeared to be looking for the possibility of a single as the ball trickled to midwicket. Stunned he may have been but, after a squirt of water and some time to collect himself, he continued to walk at the decidedly nippy Dawlat and narrowly missed being hit again after failing to connect with another flailing pull.
The first ball
Jamie Atkinson's decision after winning the toss might have been different but, for the second match running, he found himself out in the middle to face the second ball of the Hong Kong innings. Irfan Ahmed was again the opener to depart at the earliest possible opportunity, this time pushing tentatively around a full delivery from Shapoor Zadran that kissed off stump and dislodged the leg bail. Irfan became the second player to be twice out off the first ball of the innings at a World T20, after Ireland's William Porterfield at the last tournament - being Irfan's first two knocks at this level, his, er, achievement is unique.
The first ball II
A wicket off the first ball occurred in Afghanistan's opening match too, as Mohammad Shahzad carted Bangladesh's Mashrafe Mortaza straight up in the air. This time around, Najeeb Tarakai took guard against the new ball but Shahzad was quickly down the striker's end. What would he choose from his ample locker of shots? The straight thump? The back-foot slash? His own version of the helicopter? No, on this occasion, Shahzad left his first delivery alone outside off.
Shahzad's bloodlust eventually got the better of him, when Hong Kong's left-arm spinner Nadeem Ahmed came on to bowl. A heave went straight up in the air, barely beyond the square towards mid-on, and even as it was climbing, Shahzad chopped his bat down on to the pitch, bellowing at his mistake. Perhaps the tremors caused the earth to move under Aizaz Khan's feet because a regulation catch went straight through him like an undercooked achaar.
Several chances were missed on another night of ropey fielding at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury but there was one piece of world-class fielding and it came from Irfan to remove Shahzad. A venomous drive over cover looked to be dropping short of the fielder coming in off the boundary but he flung himself forward full length to catch a rocket with Fairy-soft hands, sliding along the turf to scoop it two-handed.
The missed run-out
When Waqas Barkat squirted the ball to backward point and Chapman came halfway down the pitch looking for a single, it appeared as if Afghanistan would break Hong Kong's second-wicket stand with a simple run-out. Chapman had barely put his breaks on as Mohammad Nabi threw a flat, hard throw to the bowler's end, where all Hamza Hotak needed to do was collect it and break the wicket. In his excitement, he managed to flatten all three stumps without having the ball in hand, diving forward and unsuccessfully trying to deflect it with his open palms. Not the way to do it, Hamza.
Afghanistan cleared the boundary ropes several times in a rambunctious innings but the best of the match was struck by Atkinson, showing his side the way as Hong Kong's batsmen gave a much-improved account of themselves. When Gulbadin Naib dropped short and Atkinson hammered a swivel-pull on a high arc into the stands to the longest part of the ground at deep square leg it could have been a more well-known wicketkeeper-batsman, AB de Villiers, at the crease.