Dubai: Pakistan kicked off their Asia Cup 2018 campaign on a winning note by beating Hong Kong by eight wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.
Chasing a paltry 117-run target, the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side took 23.4 overs to register a comfortable victory, thanks to an unbeaten 50 by opener Imam-ul-Haq.
Pakistan lost their first wicket on 41 when opener Fakhar Zaman's fine edge carried to stumper Scott McKechnie off an Ehsan Khan delivery in the ninth over.
Imam and incoming batsman Babar Azam (33) then added 52 runs for the second wicket, taking Pakistan closer towards victory. However, Ehsan struck again in the 21st over to dismiss Babar, leaving Pakistan at 93/2.
Shoaib Malik (9 not out) and Imam then denied the minnows any further onslaught as they comfortably notched up the needed 24 runs.
Earlier, electing to bat, Hong Kong received jolts at regular intervals and could only manage to reach 116 runs before being bowled out in 37.1 overs.
Aizaz Khan and K.D. Shah were the top scorer for Hong Kong with contributions of 27 and 26 runs respectively.
For Pakistan, left-arm pacer Usman Khan picked up three wickets conceding just 19 runs while Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan bagged two wickets each.
Pakistan: 120/2 in 23.4 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 50 not out,Babar Azam 33; Ehsan Khan 2/34) beat Hong Kong: 116 all out in 37.1 overs (Aizaz Khan 27, KD Shah 26; Usman Khan 3/19) by eight wickets. (IANS)