Date: September 16, 2018 Time: 12:30 Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai Pakistan has played two games against Hong Kong in the past and has won on both occasions convincingly. Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman are likely to be the top scorer for Pakistan while Anshuman Rath is the frontrunner for Hong Kong Mohammad Amir is likely to be the leading wicket taker for Pakistan while Aizaz Khan and Ehsan Khan are leading the race for Hong Kong Pakistan is likely to be the team hitting the maximum number of sixes in the game Prediction Pakistan vs Hong Kong Asia Cup 2018 Pakistan will win this game The second league game of Asia Cup 2018 will see two time title winners Pakistan take on Asia Cup Qualifier winners Hong Kong battle it out at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. It is difficult to compare two sides with one being one of the powerhouses in cricket while the other trying to gain foothold in the game. Hong Kong team is made up of people many of whom have a permanent job apart from being cricketers. They don’t even enjoy permanent ODI status. Nonetheless Pakistan wouldn’t like to be complacent and end up losing their opening game. Though the result may be a foregone conclusion but we have seen many surprises in the game’s history and it would be interesting to see how the two sides perform. Pakistan The Champions Trophy winners would come into this tournament with lot of confidence. Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed would have been pleased with the performance of his side in the recently concluded ODI series in Zimbabwe where they won it 5-0. In the last year or so Pakistani side has gelled well together and this was on display in the performances they put up during this period. They are currently ranked 5th in the ICC Team Rankings and this has been quite an improvement from the spot the side found themselves at the end of World Cup 2015. They go into the tournament as one of the strongest contenders for the title and would like to start the tournament on the right note. In the batting department the side would trust openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman to give them strong start with Zaman having been in great form in Zimbabwe. Babar Azam is developing well as a No. 3 for the side and with Sohaib Malik and skipper Ahmed make up for a strong middle order and Asif Ali with his hitting abilities makes up for a great finisher. In the bowling department they have the best opening ball bowlers in Junaid Khan and Mohammad Amir. Sohaib Malik will bring his experience to play in the spin department along with Mohammad Nawaz who has impressed so far in his short career. Hong Kong After their brilliant campaign in the recently concluded Asia Cup Qualifiers Anshuman Rath would be eagerly waiting to rub shoulders with the big boys of Asian cricket. There is so much to learn from these encounters and this is what makes the entry of such sides into such contests great and desirable. They don’t have to prove anything to anyone and would be looking to put their best foot forward as they take on one of the strongest sides in the world. While they started the qualifier campaign badly losing to Malaysia from thereon they maintained a clean record right up to the final where they defeated a stronger United Arab Emirates who would have badly wanted to be in Asia Cup and play in front of their home crowd. Skipper Anshuman Rath and Nizakat Khan are the mainstays of the batting along with Pakistani born Babar Hayat who is dependable at No. 3 but other players didn’t impress with their batting skills during the qualifiers. This will be a huge problem area for Rath when they take on established sides in the tournament. In the bowling department Aizaz Khan and Ehsan Khan have impressed with their bowling in the previous games during the qualifier and the team would depend on them. It would be interesting to see how the rest of the bowlers in the side deal with a strong Pakistani batting unit. Without a tinge of doubt Pakistan start as favourites to win this game versus Hong Kong and it would be interesting to see how the Asia Cup qualifiers winner rise up to the challenge on a bigger stage.