With only one place left in Group A of the Asia Cup 2022 cricket tournament, Hong Kong are expected to secure the last remaining slot of the tournament after they dominated Kuwait by eight wickets during their qualifying match at Al Amerat in Oman. The result moved them to the top of the table.
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However, despite their solid run, hosts UAE will pose as a bigger challenge than Kuwait or Singapore. The Nizakat Khan-led Hong Kong side will face stiff resistance from the UAE, who are no strangers to competing in international cricket against some of the biggest sides. In the last Asia Cup Qualifier between the two sides, the winner will virtually be assured of a place in main continental tournament.
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Hong Kong are at the top of the table with four points after having won both their matches in Qualifiers, while UAE are on two points with one win and a loss. Surprisingly, Kuwait had defeated the UAE by 1 wicket and only a ball to spare on August 21.
This time around, a win for UAE will virtually see them secure the last remaining berth in the Asia Cup 2022, which means Hong Kong will exit the event.
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Against Kuwait, Hong Kong’s Babar Hayat scored an unbeaten 53 from only 30 balls to ensure his side chased the target of 152 for the loss of two wickets in 17.4 overs.
Interestingly, Hong Kong are yet to beat UAE in an official T20I. The two sides last met in October 2019 at the T20 World Cup Qualifier.
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Kuwait, on two points, also have a chance of securing the last Asia Cup 2022 cricket berth. The situation, though, would require them to win by a massive margin against Singapore due to their lower net run rate (NRR).