India thrash Hong Kong by 40 runs to make Asia Cup 2022 Super 4 stage

Virat Kohli (left) and Suryakumar Yadav laid the foundation of India’s win over Hong Kong

Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli slammed unbeaten half-centuries to lay foundation for a big victory by 40 runs for India in their Asia Cup 2022 match against Hong Kong, played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday night, with the win carrying the team into the Super 4 stage of the tournament.

Suryakumar Yadav scored 68 not out from just 26 balls with the help of 6 sixes and as many boundaries while Virat Kohli continued his impressive form on comeback, scoring 59 not out from 44 balls with 3 sixes and a boundary. 

The two batsmen added 98 runs unbeaten for the third wicket as their partnership powered the Indian team to a strong total of 192/2 Indian 20 hours.

In their reply, the Hong Kong side produced a spirited performance with the bat with plenty of their batsmen showing their mettle. Babar Hayat scored 31 from 35 balls with 3 boundaries and 2 sixes whereas Kinchit Shah made 30 from 28 balls. 

Towards the end of the innings, the likes of Zeeshan Ali scored 26 not out from 17 balls and Scott McKechnie made 16 not out from just 8 balls as the Hong Kong side finished at an impressive 152/5 in their full quota of 20 overs. 

It was a forgettable outing for the young Indian bowlers Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan, who were both pulverised by the Hong Kong batsmen for plenty of runs. Arshdeep Singh returned with 4-0-44-1 and one of his most expensive bowling displays in the T20 internationals whereas Avesh Khan was to suffer a similar fate, returning with 4-0-53-1. 

The pick among bowlers for India was once again there experienced campaigner Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who was measly in his spell of 3-0-15-1. India’s left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was also mighty impressive, returning with 4-0-15-1 and even though he could not make any breakthrough, legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal returned with 4-0-18-0 in a tidy spell in the middle overs.

The Indian team, which was asked to bat first after Hong Kong won the toss, would certainly be pleased with the way their batsmen went about their job even though there were some concerns at the top of the order. 

Opening batsman KL Rahul consumed 39 balls to make a 36 with 2 sixes whereas their captain Rohit Sharma did not really look in rhythm during his brief innings of 21, which came from 13 balls including 2 boundaries and a six.

However, there will be plenty of relief given that Virat Kohli announced his presence in the tournament with yet another significant knock after scoring 35 against Pakistan in a crucial game a few days ago. The right-handed run machine looked in imperious touch and was brutal against loose deliveries bowled by the Hong Kong bowlers.

But the performance of the game for which he was awarded with the Man of the Match came from middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav. The right-handed aggressive batsman was absolutely belligerent on Wednesday night, garnering runs in all corners of the ground to make the highest score by any batsman in the tournament so far.

It was largely due to Suryakumar Yadav’s heroics in the ending stages of the Indian innings that his side was able to get close to the 200-run mark, as the batsmen above him had not shown any such urgency or any aggressive intent to make quick runs.

The victory powered the Indian team into the Super 4 stage with two more teams left to be qualified. Apart from India, Afghanistan have also made it to the next round given that they have recorded impressive wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the other group.