Afghanistan defeated Hong Kong by six wickets for their second straight win in the ICC World T20 qualifier here on Thursday. (Scorecard)
All-rounder Mohammad Nabi picked a four wicket haul to help Afghanistan restrict Hong Kong to 116 for six. They chased down the target in 18 overs after openers Mohammad Shahzad (41) and Noor Ali Zadran (32) shared a solid 70-run stand.
Afghanistan, who earlier beat Scotland, next meet Zimbabwe in a do-or-die match for both teams.
Only the winner in either qualifying group qualifies for the tournament proper beginning on March 15. Hong Kong and Scotland are already out the reckoning from Group B.
The Hong Kong bowlers needed to strike early to have any chance of stopping Afghanistan nail down a modest target, but they failed to put pressure on openers Shahzad and Zadran.
Shahzad was the aggressor in the partnership and came up with the big strokes regularly to the put the innings on a cruise mode. Afghanistan raced to 43 in the first overs and there was no stopping them thereafter.
Shahzad perished while attempting another big one. His entertaining knock comprised four boundaries and couple of sixes.
Afghanistan lost three quick wickets to make it 103 for four but they still got the job done comfortably.
Earlier, Hong Kong squandered a promising start to end up with a ordinary total. Their innings lost the plot after the fall of openers Jamie Atkinson (16 off 20) and Ryan Campbell (27 off 24). They failed to get a move on thereafter despite an unbeaten 28 from Anshuman Rath.
Brief scores: Hong Kong 116/6 in 20 overs (Ryan Campbell 27, Anshuman Rath 28 not out; Mohammad Nabi 4/20).
Afghanistan 119/4 in 18 overs (Mohammad Shahzad 41, Noor Ali Zadran 32; Ryan Campbell 2/28).