Hayat the owner of the first, First Class and T20 International hundreds by a Hong Kong player, added another feather to his cap with an unbeaten 141 as Hong Kong amassed 366-3 on day one of the ICC Intercontinental Cup match against The Netherlands.
Sent in to bat after losing the toss, debutant Matt Stiller and Chris Carter got Hong Kong off to a spritely start, scoring 50 runs in the first 10 overs with crisp drives a feature of their play. Stiller eventually nicked a good delivery from Vivian Kingma for 42, but the 90-run partnership had laid a strong platform.
Carter and Hayat continued to score freely, guiding Hong Kong to 121-1 at lunch. Although The Netherlands’ bowling attack was hampered by an injury to opening bowler Timm Van Der Gugten, who suffered a shoulder injury while diving in the outfield.
After the break, the spin of Roelof Van De Merwe slowed progress somewhat but Hong Kong again only lost one wicket in the session, that of Chris Carter for 84 – his highest First Class score.
Resuming at 227-2 after tea, Hayat and Nizakat Khan played with freedom. Babar’s century, courtesy of an ungainly dive, came from 162 balls, while Nizakat raised his 50 in 89 balls.
The partnership was worth 117 when Nizakat fended a ball to second slip following the introduction of the second new ball. The day was already Hong Kong’s at that point and the Hayat and Anshuman Rath (23*) partnership added 53 before the close. The home side are in a strong position to accelerate further on day two.
“The boys got off to a really good start and then when I came in they kept supporting me,” Hayat said. “I’ve never batted for this long before so I’m really pleased with this, we were thinking 230 or 240 would be a good score at the end of the day so we are looking forward to hopefully putting 500 on the board tomorrow.”
“The guys have been working really hard on our batting and everyone was feeling good coming into today so pleasing to put a good performance on the board.” Hayat continued “We lost the toss but thankfully they chose to bowl first, hopefully the wicket can spin on day three and four.”
Additional reporting and images: HK Cricket