Asia Cup 2018: India vs Hong Kong 4th ODI: Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath broke a 17-year-old record to register the highest ODI partnership for an associate nation against India. The opening pair of Hong Kong broke the record of Kenya’s K Otieno and R Shah in 2001. The duo has put on a partnership of 121 runs.
Meanwhile, their partnership has swelled to 139 and are going strong and also giving Hong Kong a realistic chance of staging an upset.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan struck a hundred in familiar surroundings of white ball cricket on a flat deck as India scored 285 for seven against Hong Kong in their Asia Cup group league opener on Tuesday.
Left-handed Dhawan, who had a horrendous tour to England due to serious technical deficiency on seaming tracks, cashed in on the chance against a weaker opposition on a low and slow continental pitch, smashing 127 off 120 balls.
Together with comeback man Ambati Rayudu (60), Dhawan stitched 116 runs for the second wicket off 130 deliveries, to lay the foundation for India’s total after the early dismissal of skipper Rohit Sharma (23).
Sent into bat India lost Rohit with the scoreboard reading 45 in 7.4 overs but then Dhawan and Rayudu joined hands and shared a century stand during their chanceless knocks.
Returning to the side after clearing the YoYo test, Rayudu grabbed the opportunity with both hands and hit three boundaries and two sixes during his 70-ball knock.
But just when it seemed the duo would smash the opposition to cleaners, Rayudu edged a Ehsan Nawaz bouncer to Scott McKechnie behind the stumps, trying an upper cut.
After the end of Dhawan-Rayudu partnership, the Indian batsmen found the going tough against slow bowlers of Hong Kong, especially in a relatively slow pitch, where shot making is not easy for a new batsman.
Dhawan and next man Dinesh Karthik (33) then shared 79 runs for the third wicket to take the side forward before Hong Kong picked up three quick wickets to put brakes on India’s scoring rate.
Dhawan himself wasted a golden opportunity to score a big hundred, holing out to Tanwir Afzal off off-spinner Kinchit Shah’s (3/39) bowling in the 41st over.