Opting to bat, Hong Kong found themselves in early trouble when Samaira Dharnidharka struck twice to remove Shanzeen Shahzad and Natasha Miles in consecutive deliveries. They were 6 for 2 in two overs after those twin blows.
From there, it was up to the experienced duo of Mariko Hill and Kary Chan to steady the innings for Hong Kong. After playing out an over, the pair took 28 runs from the next three to take them to 37 for 2 at the end of the power play.
Skipper Kary was the aggressor as Hill took her time at the other end. Finally in the 15th over, the opener broke the shackles and hit Seneviratne for a couple of boundaries. When she repeated the feat against the bowler in her next over, it looked like Hong Kong were heading for a formidable total.
However, the former Sri Lanka allrounder had other ideas. Seneviratne first castled Kary for 45 before taking three wickets – including that of Hill – in her final over. These regular strikes meant Hong Kong went from 104 for 2 to 109 for 6 in the space of three overs. The visitors eventually finished on 118 for 6 from their stipulated 20 overs.
Apart from Kary, Hill was the only batter who got into double figures. For UAE, Seneviratne picked up four for 24.
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In the chase, Esha Oza started aggressively with two boundaries before falling to Betty Chan in the same over for 11. That brought Egodage and Satish together and they took the score to 48 by the end of the power play.
By the time Satish fell to Maryam Bibi, UAE were well on their track for a convincing win. Seneviratne hit the first delivery she faced for a four, but fell to Kary for ten. Egodage kept going at the other end and eventually brought up her fifty from 43 balls with the winning hit in the 16th over.
The two sides will play again in the second T20I on Thursday.
Brief Scores: Hong Kong 118/6 in 20 overs (Kary Chan 45, Mariko Hill 34; Chamani Seneviratne 4/24) lost to UAE 120/3 in 15.3 overs (Kavisha Egodage 50*, Theertha Satish 32; Maryam Bibi 1/11) by 7 wickets POTM: Chamani Seneviratne