World Twenty20: Afghanistan win to knock out Hong Kong

Mohammad Shahzad
Mohammad Shahzad
ICC World Twenty20, Chittagong:
Afghanistan 154-3 (18 overs) beat Hong Kong 153-8 (20 overs) by seven wickets
Match scorecard

Hong Kong became the first side to be knocked out of the World Twenty20 as they lost by seven wickets to Afghanistan in Chittagong.

Set 154 to avoid an early exit of their own, Afghanistan won the Group A game with two overs to spare thanks to Shafiqullah's unbeaten 51 off 24 balls.

He effectively settled the contest with three sixes in the 17th over, after Mohammad Shahzad fell for 68.

Bangladesh beat Nepal by eight wickets on the same ground later on Tuesday.

The hosts overhauled a modest target of 127 with 4.3 overs unused to go two points clear at the top of the group.

The winners will join West Indies, India, Pakistan and Australia in Group 2 for the Super 10 round-robin section of the tournament, which starts on 21 March.

Shafiqullah's treatment of Aizaz Khan in an over costing 24 ended Hong Kong's hopes of victory in their first major tournament.

Aizaz was also responsible for dropping a simple catch offered by Shahzad on 24, and the same batsman was reprieved again shortly before he was superbly taken by a diving Irfan Ahmed at deep extra-cover.

Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson, who hit 31 off 21 balls in an otherwise laboured team effort after they won the toss, said: "We were unhappy that we didn't get 15-20 more. The dropped catches let us down."

Bangladesh, the only Test-playing nation in the group, predictably outclassed qualifiers Nepal, who managed only 126-5 despite Paras Khadka's 41 and 40 from Sharad Vesawkar.

In reply, Anamul Haque (42) and Tamim Iqbal (30) shared an opening stand of 63 for Bangladesh before Shakib Al Hasan flayed an unbeaten 37 off 18 balls, wrapping up victory with our sixes in eight deliveries.

Victory against Hong Kong in their final game on Thursday will see Bangladesh go through, and they will also progress if they lose and the winners of the Nepal-Afghanistan game fail to improve their net run-rate sufficiently.