A questionable running technique
If marks were to be awarded for running technique, Hong Kong wouldn't have too many. They could have made at least a handful more than the below-par 116 had they run in straight lines instead of criss-crossing diagonally across the surface. Batsmen were completing a semi-circle of sorts while turning for a run, which they didn't always get. On the night, even 20 more may have proved too little. Not only did they not get extra runs, but had to exert that much more energy in sapping Nagpur heat, where 30 degrees could feel more like 40 because of dry heat.
Shahzad's MS-like reflexes
The other day, Mohammad Shahzad showed how quickly he can whip the bails off like his idol MS Dhoni. Today, he showed he can back that up with an inimitable wicketkeeping style. Nizakat Khan, skipped down the track, but was clearly beaten in flight. He was at least three paces down the pitch when Shahzad allowed the ball to lodge in his gloves before he held a pose for the cameras for a couple of seconds before breaking down two stumps with a swagger that has become symbolic of him. Occasionally, Shahzad likes to get under the skin of the batsmen with cheeky sledges. On Thursday, he proved actions speak louder than words.
He couldn't put bat to ball on his international debut for Hong Kong. But today, there was a clear plan. He was going to take the bowlers on, and play like Adam Gilchrist, a man whose presence denied him opportunities during his hey days in Australia. It worked too as Afghanistan were briefly thrown off gear by the 'high risk, high return' approach. But he fell to the very approach that earned him 27, which was the second-highest score in Hong Kong's innings.
The Nabi show
Most things Mohammad Nabi touched turned to gold. After pocketing the best bowling figures by an Afghanistan bowler, he was promoted from No. 5 to No. 3, a move that may have not worked had Nabi not been put down at sweeper cover off the fifth ball he faced. Then with the target within touching distance, he played two delightful strokes, before a wild slog across the line to an innocuous delivery left him surprised at his shot selection.
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo