World T20: Afghanistan topple Hong Kong by six wickets to set up Group B decider

Afghanistan enjoyed a relatively comfortable victory in their second World T20 fixture, beating Hong Kong by six wickets

World T20: Afghanistan topple Hong Kong by six wickets to set up Group B decider
Mohammad Nabi celebrates one of his four wickets (image via: Christopher Lee-IDI)

Afghanistan made it two wins from two at the World T20 with a comfortable six wicket victory over Hong Kong in Nagpur. 

Bowling first, Mohammad Nabi's four wickets helped to restrict Hong Kong to just 116-6 from their 20 overs, with the batsman then knocking off the runs with 12 balls to spare.

Afghanistan's win sets up an exciting winner-takes-all clash with Zimbabwe on Saturday, whilst Hong Kong will be battling to avoid the wooden spoon in Group B when they face Scotland

Mohammad Shahzad hits out during Afghanistan's innings (image via: ICC Twitter)

Hong Kong's fast start slowed after Nabi's quickfire double

Having won the toss and decided to bat, Hong Kong's openers set about their innings well and laid a decent platform. Jamie Atkinson and Ryan Campbell had put on 40 together after taking a liking to the seam bowlers, before Afghan captain Asghar Stanikzai decided to change tack and introduce his spinners. 

Mohammad Nabi's first victim was Campbell, who he bowled with his fourth delivery for 27 runs. Two balls later, and Nabi had his second wicket, with Babar Hayat caught by Samiullah Shenwari for a duck. 

Bowlers stay on top as Hong Kong post 116

From the moment those two wickets fell, Afghanistan remained on top for the remainder of the Hong Kong innings.

Atkinson was knocked over by rookie spinner Rashid Khan for 16, and then Mark Chapman followed soon after for eight after being bowled by Gulbadin Naib to leave Hong Kong at 61-4 midway through their innings. 

Only two more wickets fell during the remainder of the innings, both to Nabi, as Hong Kong ended on 116-6 from their 20 overs. Nizakat Khan was the fifth wicket, after being stumped by Mohammad Shahzad for 8, which was then followed by Kinchit Shah being caught-and-bowled by Nabi. 

Anshuman Rath went at less than a run-a-ball for his unbeaten 28, with captain Tanwir Afzal alongside him at the end of the innings, unbeaten on 6. 

Shahzad and Noor Ali set up victory with 70-run stand

116 never really looked as though it would enough for Hong Kong to claim victory, especially once openers Mohammad Shahzad and Noor Ali Zadran started to get into their work. 

Shahzad, who was coming off a match-winning 61 in their opening game against Scotland, started the slower of the two batsman, before hitting boundaries at will in his innings of 41. 

At the other end, Noor Ali expressed himself during the powerplay before ticking over the strike once Shahzad got into his flow. Ali was eventually run out for 35, but the damage had been done and his side were well above the required rate.

Afghanistan limp across line to secure second victory 

At 95-1, it looked as though Afghanistan were going to hammer their opponents, but to be fair to Hong Kong they fought hard until and made the batsmen earn their runs. 

A mini-collapse saw Nabi (17), Noor Ali and Shafiqullah (3) lose their wickets as the batting side fell to 103-4 with 14 runs still needed for victory. 

Najibullah Zadran, ended any chances of the game being turned on its head with a trio of boundaries. His 17 not out from 9 balls saw Afghanistan home by six wickets, to set up Saturday's showdown with Zimbabwe for a place in Group 1 alongside England, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the West Indies