Hong Kong are eight wickets from victory heading into the final day of their ICC Intercontinental Cup clash against The Netherlands, who trail by 459, at Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground.
Anshuman Rath backed up his unbeaten 98 with a sublime 88 in the second innings as Hong Kong declared at 263-6 to set The Netherlands a sizable 507 to win. The Dutch were 48-2 at stumps with Timm Van Der Gugten unable to bat due to a shoulder injury.
Earlier, Netherlands resumed their first innings 216-5 but were dismissed within the opening session for 284. Rath continued his incredible individual game by taking 2-18 with his left-arm spin.
Quick runs were in order for Hong Kong to set the Dutch a target and Chris Carter (35), Nizakat Khan (32) and Babar Hayat (31) ensured a solid start to the innings. That allowed the in-form Rath to play with freedom and he delivered a 101-ball 88 that included 5 fours and 2 sixes.
When the declaration finally came, Netherlands had to see out a minimum 116 overs to save the game. And it didn’t start well with Tanwir Afzal getting the edge of Stephan Myburgh in the first over in the innings, just as he’d done in the first.
The Netherlands endeavoured to bunker down with the total outside a realistic range and it wasn’t until the final 20 minutes in the day when Ehsan Nawaz picked up the vital second breakthrough of Max O’Dowd for 22.
Ben Cooper (19*) and Wesley Barresi (5*) will resume on day four.
“We are in a very strong position and another dominant display with the bat with Anshy playing a solid role and showing what a mature player he is at just 19,” said Hong Kong coach Simon Cook.
“The sky is the limit for him really, he’s got limits in his technique but he’s worked on those areas and with his tactical nouse it makes him a very effective and efficient cricketer in all situations.”
“I’m hugely pleased and the consistency shows on these flat wickets where you can’t just get back into the game with a turning wicket or low scores where your bowlers don’t have to be disciplined to get rewards. It’s been a very encouraging three days.”
“I think the seamers hold the key on this pitch, there’s not much assistance for spin but there is significant uneven bounce if you can bowl stump to stump.”