Hong Kong v The Netherlands ODI @ Tin Kwong Road – 18 February, 2017

_DSC5281

Perfect weather and a noisy partisan crowd were not enough to prevent Hong Kong losing the second ODI to The Netherlands at Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground on the 18 February. Read the match report here.
Click on any photo for the full gallery of images.

_DSC5307

_DSC5383

_DSC5380

_DSC5262

_DSC5292

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Live
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Hong Kong Fall Short Again…

For the third time in a week Hong Kong and the Netherlands laid on a thrilling game but unfortunately for the partisan crowd at the Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground it was the visitors who triumphed again.

It was another high scoring affair, the Netherlands posted 314-9, with the heroics of Anshuman Rath and Babar Hayat again not enough for Hong Kong as they fell short by 13 runs in a match they should have won.

In the four day game, Hong Kong dominated but didn’t have the mental fortitude and the game smarts to win the match and were forced to settle for a draw. The same applied in both ODI games, although chasing 300+ totals in both matches, Hong Kong laid the foundations to win but failed to finish the job. Credit to The Netherlands who stuck to their task, but Hong Kong should have had a clean sweep. The players need to learn how to win.

Netherlands opener Michael Rippon (53 off 78) and Ben Cooper (78 off 72) gave Netherlands a solid base, getting the Dutch to 97-1 in 20 overs.

Again it was a team effort from the Netherlands with the bat, with six players scoring over 20. Captain Peter Borren (49 off 43) and Pieter Seelaar (31 off 23) provided the impetus at the end of the innings.

The Netherlands threatened to make a higher target but were restricted in the final overs on a wicket just starting to lose some of its pace.

In response it was the familiar faces of Anshuman Rath and Babar Hayat who again dominated for Hong Kong. They took Hong Kong to 144-1 after 29 overs when Rath was stumped off the bowling of Rippon who backed up his half-century with two wickets in a man-of-the-match display.

For Rath, at just 19 the future is bright. He is now the leading run scorer in the World Cricket League after scores of 134 and 85 in the series. Nizakat Khan lifted the rate and blasted 41 off 26 balls to leave Hong Kong requiring 103 off 78 balls with 8 wickets still in tact.

But as in the first match, the Netherlands bowled with clever plans and good execution in the final overs. The home side couldn’t find the boundary enough and when Hayat was dismissed for 86 off 80 balls, the match was as good as done.

“There are a lot positives for us, there is a lot of talent in the dressing room and we are not far away,” Hong Kong captain Babar Hayat said. “We should have won one of these games at least and done better, so the players are just disappointed. It’s hard to take being so close in both games and not getting a win.”

Netherlands captain Peter Borren was understandably delighted with his side taking both games in the series. “A really good team performance from us. 315, we were pretty happy with that at half time on a wicket getting a little bit tired.”

“You have to give credit again to Anshuman and Babar who have batted for the last 9-10 days where we have chased a lot of balls, they deserve better than what they have got here but we are delighted to have the points from these games.”

“We can be very proud with how we have done in the last week or so against a very good Hong Kong team, they have been fantastic hosts.”

The Hong Kong squad will now break off into their Hong Kong T20 Blitz squads with that tournament to be held on March 8-12.

Additional reporting: HK Cricket
Photo: Panda Man

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Live
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

India by the Bay Opening Party @ Indian Consul General Residence – 17 February, 2017

_DSC5245

India by the Bay celebrated the opening of it’s third festival with a party at the Indian Consul General’s Residence. Among those in attendance were Indian actor Rishi Kapoor, Mrs Shroff, sponsors and supporters interested in promoting Indian culture in Hong Kong.
The India by the Bay Festival runs from the 17-25 February, 2017.
Click on any photo for the full gallery of images

_DSC5191

_DSC5107

_DSC5253

_DSC5256

_DSC5234

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Live
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Womens Premiership Preview – 18 February, 2017

The Women’s Premiership comes to a close with a climactic battle between the top two sides, Valley Black and Gai Wu Falcons, at Happy Valley (16.30).

Valley will be looking to conclude a third straight unbeaten season with a win over Gai Wu and stretch their record to 39 straight league wins over three seasons, including Grand Championship play.

Despite Valley’s historic run, Gai Wu still has a mathematical chance at capturing league honours for the first time since 2013. A bonus point win for the Falcons (while keeping Valley out of the bonus) would hand them the league title on points differential.

Valley is currently top of the table with 54 points. Gai Wu’s only loss this year came against Valley (28-3 in November) leaving them on 10 wins (49 points) and with the better points differential (+29).

Valley coach James Elliot accepts the possibility of losing the league on points, but stresses that two forfeitures this season account for the points differential.

“We have had two forfeits awarded, [league rules allow for 20-0 wins in case of forfeiture], against Football Club and Causeway Bay. We would have expected to post more than 20 points in those games but we are at a deficit now in terms of the differentials,” Elliot acknowledged.

Elliot knows that the easiest solution is a win and he insists his side is well grounded ahead of Saturday’s clash, saying, “Our focus is to win the game and win the league. We’re going to go out and play Valley rugby and win. This is something that we were very clear about in training this week.

“It’s going to be a terrific game. Last time we played them, it was 3-0 at half-time, a big battle. Gai Wu have got great attacking weapons, with more national squad players than any other club,” Elliot added.

Valley are a close second in the number of current and former internationals suiting up with nine Hong Kong and other internationals in the squad for Saturday.

“This will be the toughest match of the season. We’re up for it and I’m sure Gai Wu are too. It’ll be big. It’ll be intense,” Elliot promised. “It will be a really big day for Women’s rugby. It’s great for women’s rugby to have good, competitive games like this,” he added.

Elliot is expecting the battle to again be intense and is looking to his capable back row to offer the edge. “As usual, there will be a lot of action up front, but we both have very good back lines. Both teams have players that can steal the ball. For us, Olivia Coady, Amelie Seure and Toto Cheng will be key. Toto is everywhere on the field and packs a lot of firepower in her small frame,” said Elliot.

Injuries to two of the Falcons’ sevens stars, Aggie Poon Pak-yan and Melody Li Nim-yan, will make Gai Wu’s task that much harder. Angela Chan Ka-yan is also unavailable due to work commitments while Hong Kong front rower Tammy Lau Sze-wah, a lynchpin of the club’s impressive forward pack, is also under injury cloud but is expected to play. Despite the hits to his numbers, Gai Wu coach Lai Yiu-pang is confident in his side’s abilities.

“We’ve got a real chance to win, the target is quite clear. We have to play with 100 percent confidence. We have to play what we train and focus on what we can do, not on the players who are not available.”

Success rides on fundamentals and a fast start for Lai. “If we can get the fundamentals right, we will have a platform to build on. The key is to keep our defence strong and build our attack from there. Valley are strong across the pitch, so we have to be at our best.

“I think whoever gets into the game faster will have the momentum to secure the result. It’s all about getting into the game early on.” Lai, who has been focusing on balancing his attack this season, believes the pieces are coming together in time for another Grand Championship push.

“We’ve got a pretty big forward pack, with quite a few national team players, who bring a lot of experience and energy to our play in that part of the field. In the past, we built our play primarily around our forwards, but this season, we’ve got our wings involved more and are more balanced,” added Lai.

This time last year, Gai Wu were in third place in the league before meeting Valley in the final week of the season, a heavy loss where Valley’s Coady scored five tries. But Gai Wu nearly turned the tables on Valley in a hugely entertaining grand final that came down to the final seconds.

Lai will be looking for that spirit once again: “We’ve talked a lot about the need to play consistent rugby, at the level that we played at in the grand final. There are games where we put 90 points on the board this season, but that doesn’t help us when we play Valley or Tigers, who are the real challenge.

“The key is how we transfer our play and performance in previous games into this crunch match.”

In other Premiership action, third-placed USRC Tigers head to Sports Road for a tie with fourth-ranked HKFC Ice, while CWB Phoenix host City Sparkle at So Kon Po (both at 18.00).

See the full weekend fixture here

Additional reporting and images: HK Rugby

 

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Live
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Women’s Rugby Fixtures – 18 February, 2017

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Live
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Anshuman Rath Debut Century in Vain

Anshuman Rath‘s debut century was in vain as Hong Kong crumbled again in the face of victory in the first ICC World Cricket League Championship match as they lost to The Netherlands by five runs.

After being set a mammoth target of 331 to win, Hong Kong were 308-5 with 20 balls remaining but a late collapse saw the home side fall short.

Earlier, the Dutch innings was put into gear through Stephan Myburgh (88 off 98) and Roelof Van Der Merwe (62 off 48). Heroes from the Intercontinental Cup match earlier in the week Ben Cooper (43 off 37) and Pieter Seelaar (50 off 43 balls) were again in good touch.

However, given at one stage they were 183-3 in 29 overs, Hong Kong’s bowlers did well to limit what could have been an even bigger total. For Hong Kong, Ehsan Khan 2-49 and Ehsan Nawaz (2-62) were the pick of the bowlers on a surface tailor made for batting.

This was proven when Hong Kong began their innings, with 20 runs scored from the first over. Their flying started was tempered with the loss of Chris Carter (19) and Jamie Atkinson (6), but this brought together what proved a match-turning partnership between Anshuman Rath and Babar Hayat.

They put on a partnership of 197 for the third wicket from just 190 balls. Rath, despite only being 19, finally reached his long-awaited century for Hong Kong after several near misses in the last 18 months.

Hayat was dismissed for 83 off 107 balls, backing up the 174 he made in the four-day fixture. But their dismissals took the chase from cruise control to tension as the lower order continued to pick out fielders on the boundary.

Twenty runs were needed from the last three overs with four wickets left, but the Dutch showed cooler heads to triumph and move to the top of the World Cricket League table.

Momentum swung both ways through the match. We were happy to have 330 but we lost wickets at crucial times. we were in control and probably should have made more than that,” said Netherlands captain Peter Borren.

Rath and Babar batted really well but I have to say Hong Kong gave it to us at the end so we will have to be a lot better in two days’ time, but we are pretty stoked to get the two points in what is a huge win.”

Hong Kong coach Simon Cook lamented a major missed opportunity for his side. “One that got away, which at the halfway stage we wouldn’t have expected, definitely one that we lost.”

Some very poor shots and poor thinking under pressure was what it comes down to. We were 250-2 and lost a wicket then we lost two wickets quickly and with new men in it became difficult. Pleased for Anshuman to get over the line, it was good see him convert those 80’s and 90s into 100 and Babar Hayat to maintain his form.”

The guys are pretty raw at the moment, when you get as close as we did it, it hurts a bit more, there will be a bit of work to do to pick the guys up.”

The second and final match will be held on Saturday.

Additional reporting: HK Cricket

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Live
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Japanese Pop-up Food Fair at Sogo

_DSC4975

If you fancy a taste of Japan head over to Basement 2 of Sogo in Causeway Bay where a Japanese Local Speciality Fair (Actually Sogo are calling it a ‘speialty’ fair). There a range of Japanese food products you can’t often find locally including Hokkaido cream puffs ($38), Japanese cheesecake, assorted sweet rice desserts. A broad range of seaweed and savoury delights  as well and a 5019 Premium Factory pop-up burger stand.

_DSC5048

The 5019 Premium Factory is a well known burger outlet in Kochi and will be opening a branch at 46 Graham Street in April. Before then you can sample their wagyu burgers including the signature Ryoma ($98) which is a stacked burger made from a 90g wagyu beef patty, demi-glace sauce, cheese, eggplant, tuna, grilled tomato, lettuce and a variety of sauces. The pop-up store is also offering a wagyu egg burger ($68) and a wagyu avocado burger ($78).

The fair runs until the 21 February.

_DSC5023

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Live
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS