Afghanistan beat Hong Kong by seven wickets in the World Twenty20 tournament in Chittagong.
Hong Kong chose to bat at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium and recovered from the loss of Irfan Ahmed from the opening ball of the innings to post a competitive 153-8.
The Afghans reached the target with 12 balls to spare as they bounced back from their opening day defeat to Bangladesh.
Waqas Barkat (32), captain Jamie Atkinson (31) and Mark Chapman (38) all made middle order contributions for HK, who were beaten by Nepal in their opening encounter, after Shapoor Zadran struck with the first ball of the match.
|Hong Kong: 153 for 8 (20 overs)|
|Ahmed||b S Zadran||0||1|
|Barkat||c Zadran||b Nabi||32||64||32|
|Hayat||c Stanikzai||b Nabi||5||8||3|
|Khan||c Nabi||b Hotak||9||10||4|
|Dar||run out (Tarakai)||3||11||6|
|Tanwir Afzal||c Naib||b S Zadran||11||10||6|
|Extras||5nb 8w 1b 2lb||16|
Wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad gave Afghanistan a strong start in their reply by making 68 off 53 balls.
The right-hander hit six boundaries and three sixes before falling in the 16th over with the score on 116.
However Shafiqullah got his side over the line with 51 off 24 balls.
The 24-year-old changed the complexion of the match by smashing Aizaz Khan for three sixes on the leg-side in the 17th over.
|Afghanistan: 154 for 3 (18 overs)|
|Tarakai||c Ahmed||b Tanwir Afzal||7||11||6|
|Shehzad||c Ahmed||b Amjad||68||70||53|
|Stanikzai||c Hayat||b Khan||13||32||21|
|Extras||1nb 7w 0b 1lb||9|
It keeps Afghanistan’s hopes of reaching the Super 10 phase of the World T20 alive. However, they will need the hosts to slip up either against Nepal later today or on Thursday against Hong Kong.
Both sides are making their debut in the fifth edition of the world event with the format extended to 16 teams this year.
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