Hong Kong continued their dominance on day two of their Intercontinental Cup clash against The Netherlands at Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground. Resuming on 366-3, Hong Kong posted their highest ever First Class score of 527 – before reducing the visitors to 216-5 at stumps.
Babar Hayat picked up from where he left off on day one, surpassing 150 as he and Anshuman Rath took their partnership past 100. Hayat was eventually given LBW for 173, his innings off 265 balls, including 22 fours and 2 sixes.
Attention then turn to Anshuman Rath and whether he could reach a maiden First Class century. He moved into the 90s with three wickets still in hand, but the Dutch denied him by polishing off the tail (with Ehsan Nawaz not able to bat), leaving the 19-year-old stranded on 98 not out.
In the fifth over, Tanwir struck again as he lured Max O’Dowd to edge to wicket-keeper Chris Carter to have the Netherlands in huge trouble at 23-2.
Ben Cooper and Roelef Van Der Merwe combined to finally get the Dutch innings going. They put on 102 before left-arm spinner Nadeem Ahmed drew the edge of Cooper for 52. And then two balls later he struck again to send Wesley Barresi back for a duck.
Skipper Peter Borren came in and took to the spinners with his reverse sweep, hitting three boundaries with it until the pace of Aizaz Khan took his edge.
However, Van Der Merwe was in a ruthless mood, he reached his century with a towering six off 108 balls and took the Dutch score past 200.
Speaking after play, Anshuman Rath was pleased with his side’s position.
“We started off strong with the bat and got the total we wanted to, we are happy having five wickets, but maybe we just let them get a few too many. Roelof batted really well but if we kept them to 50 or 60 less we’d really be in the driving seat.”
“I’m sure I’ll get over it (being left on 98*), I’m a bit disappointed but that’s cricket. While I was batting in the 90s I thought it’s time to convert one of these into a 100.”
“I’ve focused a lot of time in the gym getting fitter and also my boundary options which was lacking compared to others in the team. It’s been a good couple of months for me and I just want to keep it going.”
“It’s a good batting wicket but there is enough in it for the bowlers and it’s starting to turn a little bit which is a good sign for us. It’s a case of us bowling well and bowling to our plans.”