Asia Cup 2018: India rallied to avoid a shock defeat by Hong Kong in the Asia Cup, eventually winning by 26 runs in Dubai.
Hong Kong, who lost their one-day international status this year, were 174-0 off 34 overs, chasing 286 to win.
But captain Anshy Rath (73) and Nizakat Khan (92) fell in quick succession as India took four wickets for 25 runs.
Kinchit Shah and Aizaz Khan kept their side in contention but after both were removed in the 45th over, Hong Kong could only reach 259-8.
India opener Shikhar Dhawan had earlier hit 127 off 120 balls, with Ambati Rayudu making 60 from 70 balls.
Yet Hong Kong conceded only 48 runs from the last 10 overs, also taking five wickets to limit the world number two ODI side – who have rested several players for this tournament, including captain Virat Kohli – to 285-7.
A weakened India bowling attack struggled for long periods before debutant left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal took three wickets each to stifle Hong Kong’s chase.
Defeat means qualifiers Hong Kong are eliminated from the competition, while India face Pakistan at the same venue on Wednesday to determine the winner of Group A – although the arch rivals are now guaranteed to meet again in the Super Four stage.
|Asia Cup Group A, Dubai|
|India 285-7 (50 overs): Dhawan 127, Rayudu 60, Shah 3-39|
|Hong Kong 259-8 (50 overs): Nizakat 92, Rath 73, Khaleel 3-48, Chahal 3-46|
|India won by 26 runs|