India on Tuesday survived a massive scare as they defeated Hong Kong by just 26 runs in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018. The opening pair of Nizakat Khan and skipper Anshuman Rath smashed a record-breaking 174 run partnership to give Rohit Sharma and co a fright to remember in what could have been India’s worst loss in the history of the game. But the Pakistan-India duo will remember the knock that they played for the rest of their lives. Yes, the opening pair of Hong Kong has a special bond with India and Pakistan as skipper Anshuman Rath’s parents are from Satyanagar in Bhubaneswar, Odisha but had shifted to Hong Kong in the 90s for business and eventually settled there and Anshuman’s partner Nizakat Khan is a Pakistan born who wanted to play for his motherland, but had moved to Hong Kong and started playing school-level cricket.
Anshuman’s father had handed him a bat and ball and the skipper now owes everything to his father for the success that he has achieved.
Hong Kong skipper’s parents still visit Odisha frequently and Anshuman loves to visit his hometown in Bhubaneshwar.
Meanwhile, his partner Nizakat Khan was born in Attock, Punjab in Pakistan. The 26-year-old wanted to represent Pakistan at a young age but had to move to Hong Kong and started playing his school cricket there. Nizakat represented Hong Kong Under-19 team in the 2010 U-19 World Cup. He made his international debut against Afghanistan on May 1, 2014.
Nizakat missed out on a dream century as he was dismissed LBW by debutant Khaleel Ahmed for 92 runs. But his stylish knock will be remembered by everyone who enjoyed the nail-biter between India and Hong Kong on Tuesday. The stylish right-handed opener smashed 12 boundaries and 1 maximum in his innings with a strike rate of 80.00. Anshuman Rath played a brilliant knock of 72 runs off 97 balls which included four boundaries and one six.
Hong Kong have been sent crashing out of the Asia Cup 2018 after defeats against Pakistan and India, however, their impact in the second game will be a huge stepping stone for their future and development.