Team India, after a gruelling two-month tour to U K where they suffered crushing defeats in the ODI and Test series, came to the United Arab Emirates in search for their seventh Asia Cup title. India started their title defence against qualifiers Hong Kong before facing arch-rivals Pakistan in the group stage. The Men in Blue topped their group and entered the Super Fours where they took on Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
India vs Hong Kong Group Stage-
India opened its Asia Cup 2018 campaign against Hong Kong in a way which surprised many. They were made to toil hard to earn their win. Dhawan, who had a horrid time in England, scored a fine century to help India reach 285/7 in their 50 overs.
In reply, Hong Kong openers Nizakat and skipper Anshuman Rath played one of the most amazing innings of their lifetime and stitched a brilliant 174 run opening partnership. However, once Anshuman departed for 73, Hong Kong suffered a batting collapse. India, somehow, managed to restrict Hong Kong to 259 runs in their 50 overs, thus surviving what could have been one of the biggest upsets of the year.
The match between the two Asian giants are always expected to be a cracker one in which balance swings from one side to the other. However, it was not the case this time. The two sides, who were meeting after the 2017 Champions Trophy final where India were comprehensively defeated by 180 runs at The Oval, failed to provide fans with any of those nail-biting moments which make for an India-Pakistan clash. Pakistan batsmen failed to deliver as Indian pacers dominated from the start. All-rounder Kedar Jadhav later joined the party and did further damage to the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side who were bundled out for 162. India reached the target in just 29 overs and topped their group.