Afghans eliminate Hong Kong

Afghanistan bounced back from their nightmare start to the ICC World Twenty20 with a seven-wicket win over Hong Kong, keeping their qualification hopes alive in the process.

Eager to respond to Sunday's nine-wicket thrashing at the hands of Bangladesh, Afghanistan regrouped well with a hard-fought victory over the now eliminated Hong Kong.

Set a testing 154 for victory, the Afghans were indebted to half-centuries from Mohammad Shahzad (68) and Shafiqullah (51no) as they reached the target with two overs to spare.

Victory keeps Afghanistan's faint hopes of reaching the Super 10 stage ahead of their final Group A match against Nepal on Thursday.

Shahzad's side were bowled out for just 72 against Bangladesh, despite having not won at the World Twenty20 in their previous two trips to the tournament, began as favourites against a Hong Kong side making their debut.

Hong Kong lost their opener against fellow rookies Nepal, but were able to set a testing total after three of their top four - Waqas Barkat (32), Jamie Atkinson (31) and Mark Chapman (38) - made starts without going on.

Shahzad and Shafiqullah showed the importance on going on for more, however, especially the skipper as he thrashed his 68 from 53 balls at the top of the order to set-up the chase.

Shahzad hit three sixes, including an MS Dhoni-style 'helicopter' shot off Aizaz Khan, and while he was unable to finish the job Shafiqullah did, with a four that also brought up his half-century from 24 balls.