Six Fest on Day 1 of T20 Blitz

An action packed first day of the 2017 Hong Kong T20 Blitz saw a 31-ball(!) Dwayne Smith hundred, four fifties and an Ashley Caddy hat-trick!

The start of the first game of the tournament was delayed by a heavy shower, but the ground staff worked hard to get the outfield fit for for play as the crowd waited patiently for the cricket to get going, and their wait was well rewarded.

The rain meant the game between the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau and Hung Hom JD Jaguars was reduced to 11 overs a side. While a late start may have dampened spirits of the crowd the JD Jaguars were quick to entertain. The men responsible were Darren Sammy and James Franklin who shared a stand of 102 runs from just 36 balls. Franklin made 58 from 27 deliveries and Sammy 52 from 19 balls. Between them they smacked 11 sixes. Tin Kwong Road is a small ground but many of the shots that Sammy and Franklin were launching over the fence would have been six anywhere in the world.

Bowling first Yorkshire’s Azeem Rafiq kept things tight early on for The Galaxy Gladiators with his clever off-spin, and the Lantau side had reduced the Jaguars to 43-3 after five overs. It looked as if the Jaguars would struggle to set a competitive total. Those concerns were waylaid when Franklin and Sammy embarked on their attack that saw them destroy a strong bowling attack with some fine power hitting.

The Galaxy Gladiators needed someone to match the hitting prowess of Sammy and Franklin, but they could not put together a partnership that would allow them to get close to their target. The best innings from the Lantau side was from Hong Kong international Anshuman Rath who made 45 from 26 balls, including a lovely switch hit six. No one could stay with Rath and the chase fell away. The Hung Hom team won by 27 runs but not before Ash Caddy punctuated an emphatic win with a hat-trick in the last over.

Match two was no less enjoyable. It saw City Kaitak take on the Kowloon Cantons and once again it rained sixes. A poor start from City Kaitak saw them reduced to 23 for three and in danger of losing their way. A 125 run stand between Kyle Coetzer (87) and Chris Jordan (75) saw Kaitak reach 199 for six from their 20 overs, setting a target of exactly 200.

That should have provided the Cantons with a challenge, but Dwayne Smith didn’t see it that way. He hit Nadeem Ahmed for 28 runs from the first over on his way to a century that he made from just 31 balls. He finished 121 not out in an innings which included 13 sixes.

Smith was joined at the crease by Marlon Samuels and between them the two West Indians took their team home. Their partnership was worth 142 runs in 9.4 overs as they dismantled the bowling of Jordan, Rayad Emrit and Aizaz Khan. The Cantons won the game with 33 balls to spare and with eight wickets in hand.

Day two sees HKI United play Hung Hom JD Jaguars at 10am, then Galaxy Gladiators Lantau play City Kaitak at 2pm.

Additional reporting: HK Cricket

 

Hong Kong Women Ready For World Cup Qualifier

Local women’s rugby players prepare for the two most important games in Hong Kong’s rugby history as national coach Jo Hull prepares her Hong Kong squad for the World Rugby Women’s Rugby World Cup qualifier.

The triangular tournament sees Japan and Fiji taking part with the two top-placed finishers advancing to next year’s World Cup in Ireland. Hong Kong will play Fiji on 9 December (7pm) at King’s Park and Japan on 17 December (4:30pm) at Hong Kong Football Club.

With the top two teams advancing, a win over Fiji would be a huge step toward Hong Kong qualifying for its first ever fifteen-a-side rugby World Cup but Hull cautions that Hong Kong will still need to find another gear to achieve what would be a transformative result for the local women’s game.

“It is an amazing opportunity to qualify and have a chance to play in a World Cup. Our job as a national team is to inspire and connect with young girls and women. We want them to aspire to play for Hong Kong and to do that you need to put up some performances,” Hull said.

With those performances in mind, Hong Kong finalised a build-up campaign that was unprecedented in its scale and intensity, with two matches against Kazakhstan last month. Hong Kong won both.

“I was pleased with the Kazakhstan games, but we still need to play 20 percent better against Fiji to get the result we’re after. Kazakhstan are good and playing against them showed us we still have some things to work on to be ready for the coming matches, particularly, our commitment in the tackle area against bigger players and that is something we are focusing on,” Hull noted.

Hull said that while there were significant positives, the challenge is set to intensify: “The Qualifiers represents a level that the girls have never played at before. We need players who will go into battle and I think we have the right combination with some new, young players coming through plus experienced players like the sevens girls and our forwards group.”

“But we’re under no illusion that we’re the finished article. Our job is to keep getting better and that’s what we’re all about; we’re not going to be content with average performances,” Hull said.

Hull is confident she has the players to achieve this singular sporting feat in her 26-woman squad, which is notable for the absence of some longstanding Hong Kong representatives.

“There are some top-class players not selected and I think that is both a credit to the players coming through and also partially because of the style we want to play. We need players who can get in amongst it, play with a lot of tempo and heart, and are skilful and can withstand the pressure ahead.”

Despite the absence of some multi-capped players, Hull has been able to select a highly experienced group with 25 of the 26-person squad capped previously, including 21 players from the Tour of Spain last December and the Asia Rugby Championship earlier this year.

Hull is most pleased with the process that has been put in place to get the team to this point: “I’ve seen a huge turnaround in women’s rugby since I arrived 18 months ago. At a national level, we have grown from a six-week to a 10-month programme, with regular analysis and a big emphasis on strength and conditioning. The players have really bought into that and I think we are starting to see the first glimpses of results now,” Hull noted.

“I’m pleased with the 26 we have got. We started with 40 players and made some tough decisions along the way and we’re really proud of our selection process, which has been very thorough.”

“Accountability is at the forefront of everything we are doing. Every one of those 26 players know that they have to keep performing, otherwise someone else is taking their spot,” Hull said.

Hull has incorporated 12 members of the Hong Kong Sevens team into the squad, injecting their professional-class speed and fitness into the equation, while also bringing a dose of much-needed experience playing against world-class women’s teams; all essentials if Hong Kong hope to step up against the likes of Fiji and Japan.

Inspirational second-rower Chow Mei-nam will again captain the side, leading an experienced group of forwards who will be called upon to do some heavy lifting in what is expected to be a physical contest with Fiji in the opener.

“Mei Nam is now in her second year of captaining the team. She leads by example in everything she does, on and off the pitch,” said Hull.

“Against Kazakhstan she had the highest positive involvement across both games, which is exactly what you want from your captain and really shows how she leads by example. She has only been playing for three years and continues to improve every game, which epitomises our team philosophy,” Hull added.

Jessica Ho Wai-on is the only uncapped player included in the 26-woman squad. The fiery young scrumhalf is likely to earn her first cap against Fiji, either starting or off the bench, as she complements Lindsay Varty, the second scrumhalf in the squad.

Hull, who has coached with Scotland at previous World Cups, believes this group of players has what it takes to get to the next level and will produce a performance that will make Hong Kong proud.

“Going to a World Cup is an experience you will never replicate in any other part of your life. When and if we get there, these girls will give their heart and soul to every minute of that and that is all that you can ask of them,” Hull said.

Hong Kong Squad, Women’s Rugby World Cup Qualifier
Chow Mei-Nam (Captain), Amelie Seure^, Chan Ka-Yan, Chan Leong-Sze^, Chan Tsz-Ching, Cheng Ching-To, Cheng Ka-Chi, Cheung Shuk-Han, Christine Gordon^, Lau Nga-Wun, Lee Ka-Shun, Melody Li Nim-Yan^, Winnie Siu Wing-Ni, Karen So Hoi-Ting, Wong Yuen-Shan, Adrienne Garvey^, Chong Ka-Yan^, Colleen Tjosvold^, Jessica Ho Wai-On*, Rose Hopewell-Fong, Ivy Kwong Sau-Yan^, Lau Sze-Wa, Lee Tsz-Ting^, Lindsay Varty^, Natasha Olson-Thorne^, Yuen Lok-Yee^.

^ HKSI elite Sevens athlete; * potential Hong Kong debut

Additional reporting and image: Takumi PhotographyHKRU

Hong Kong’s Bowlers Shine in Win Over Kenya

babar-hayat-v-kenya-20-novHong Kong squared their two match tour of Kenya with a 39-run victory in the second ICC World Cricket League Championship match in Nairobi. A blistering 78 off 68 balls from captain Babar Hayat paved the way for the visitors in a rain-reduced limited-overs match.

After a delayed start – Hong Kong were 25.1 overs into their 31-over innings when the rain cut them short on 148-4. Chris Carter supported Hayat with 41 in a 119-run stand for the second wicket.

HK v Kenya ODI - 20 Nov, 2016

The Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method adjusted Kenya’s target to 173 to win off 25 overs and they appeared well on track after a flying start from openers Alex Obanda (39) and Irfan Karim (33) who raced to 70-0 after 10 overs, but the introduction of spin turned the game for Hong Kong.

Nadeem Ahmed (3-23) struck first with the score on 79 and three further scalps to Ehsan Khan (3-12) saw Kenya wobble to 89-5. There was a brief fightback, but Tanveer Ahmed’s accuracy with his yorkers at the death netted him three wickets as Hong Kong dismissed Kenya for 133.

HK v Kenya ODI - 20 Nov, 2016

Coach Simon Cook was a relieved man, but was still hurting from Friday’s loss.

We’ve not got the result we wanted from the tour but pleasing to get the win today and still keep ourselves in the mix for the ICC World Cricket League Championship,” Cook said. Kenya got off to a very good start in their innings so it was pleasing to see the energy of the guys remain high and to come back and win was a good effort. We need to be more consistent going forward if we want to challenge the top of the table in this competition.”

Captain Babar Hayat, whose contribution with the bat was vital once again, was still searching for improvement in his own game. “I’m pleased that as captain I led from the front today and that’s what I need to do,” Babar said. I don’t think I am playing my best yet, there is still more improvement to come from me – I’d have liked to have made a hundred today and I want to set the bar higher for myself. I’m really pleased that we won this game and proud we could get this win for Hong Kong.”

 World Cricket League Championship table - nov 2016

Additional reporting and image: HK Cricket

Kenya Beat Hong Kong in First ODI

Anshuman Rath v Kenya - 19 Nov, 2016

Hong Kong missed a golden opportunity to push their claims for top spot in the ICC World Cricket League Championship losing by three wickets to Kenya in Nairobi in the first of two ODI’s.

The key point in the match came when Hong Kong on 214-5 with nine overs remaining were looking to post a really challenging target instead suffered a dramatic batting collapse to be all out for 222. Kenya’s captain Rakeb Patel did the damage during that period taking 5-16 off 6 overs.

Kenya too almost lost their cool, collapsing from 140-1 to 171-6 before a rain delay saw them collect their thoughts and pass the reduced target of 200 with 13 balls and three wickets to spare.

HK v Kenya - 19 November, 2016

For Hong Kong, Anshuman Rath starred with the bat, scoring 90 off 92 balls, which included a century partnership with fellow 19-year-old Shahid Wasif (44 off 61). This partnership helped the innings recover from the cheap losses of Babar Hayat (24) and Nizakat Khan (4), while Kinchit Shah played a cameo at the top of the order, scoring 34 off 17 balls.

With the ball, wickets were shared, with Ehsan Khan 2-44 returning the best figures.

Coach Simon Cook was left fuming with his side’s inability to finish the match from a strong position.

It’s frustrating because you get to a point in a game where we could have accelerated and taken the game away from Kenya but unfortunately we’ve been guilty of losing critical moments in games and we lost that critical moment today,” Cook said.

We didn’t capitalise on the good work done by Anshuman and Shahid, which is very disappointing. We have a lower order that can be explosive, which we saw in the 1st ODI against PNG, but it’s just getting them to do it more consistently.”

We had opportunities to win this in the field as well – we dropped a couple of chances and took a wicket off a no ball,” Cook added. It’s hard to make changes when it’s your lower that didn’t get the runs and that’s not their job. So you can’t drop a bowler because they’ve not got runs. So we will need to reflect on the performance and look at options who we can bring in.”

Cook continued “This was a perfect opportunity to come here and get to the top of the World Cricket League Championship and take the pressure off ourselves but this loss puts us right in the thick of the pack. Sunday is now a must win game – we need to treat it as such. The positive from today is that we didn’t play well and nearly pulled off a win.”

HK v Kenya - 19 November, 2016

Sunday’s match will be the second and final match of the tour before Hong Kong return home on Monday.

Additional reporting and image: HK Cricket

Russia and Hong Kong Win

hk-centre-ally-maclay

On match day two in the Cup of Nations Russia pounded Papua New Guinea, 49-19, and Hong Kong beat Zimbabwe 34-11. The victors setting up a rematch of last year’s winner-take-all clash on the 19 November, at Hong Kong Football Club.

After a narrow 19-15 win over Zimbabwe in the opening round, defending champions Russia recorded a comprehensive, seven-try victory over Papua New Guinea. Russia captain and flanker Viktor Gresev again proved an unstoppable force; scoring a hat trick of tries to add to the brace he collected against Zimbabwe. Gresev now leads all scorers with five tries over two matches.

Gresev’s first try came in the third minute as the massive Russian pack brought its weight to bear early on. Sustained Russian pressure forced Papua New Guinea to concede a penalty try for repeated infringements at the ruck in the 12th minute, before Gresev claimed his second try in the 19th minute.

Papua New Guinea got on the board with a try against the run of play from winger John Ephraim in the 21st minute. The unsuccessful conversion left them trailing 21-5.

Scrumhalf Anton Ryabov found space on the fringes of a ruck to cross over for a try in the 26th minute while hooker Valery Tsnobiladze added a fifth try moments later.

Centre Tisa Kautu added three points for Papua New Guinea with a penalty shortly before half-time as Russia took an unassailable 35-8 lead into the break.

russia-v-PNG-cup-of-nations-2016

Russia were less convincing in the second half, while Papua New Guinea got off to a flying start, scoring 11 unanswered points from two penalties by Kautu and a try to flyhalf Richard Aitsi to close the gap to 35-19.

It was the second straight match where the Russian defence went walkabout after they let Zimbabwe climb back into the round 1 match. Unsurprisingly, it was Gresev who helped quell any nerves as he and Ryabov added their third and second tries respectively to seal a 49-19 win. Flyhalf Yury Kusnarev was perfect with the boot, converting all seven of Russia’s tries.

In the second match of the doubleheader at Kings Park, the hosts jumped ahead to a 17-3 half-time lead before going on to win 34-11 win, collecting a second bonus point of the tournament to stay at the top of the table after two rounds.

A dominant set piece performance by Hong Kong gave the host the run of play in the first half. Prop Alex Ng Wai-shing scored the home side’s first try in the third minute, collecting the ball at the base of a ruck beneath the posts before crashing over from in close.

With Hong Kong’s forward pack dominating early on, the speedy backline had ample ball to work with and quickly set about testing Zimbabwe’s conditioning and defence. Although battling bravely, gaps soon appeared in the visitors’ defence and fullback Alex McQueen was the first to exploit the space when he finished off a lengthy attacking phase to touch down in the corner in the eight minute.

Hong Kong flyhalf Ben Rimene was also perfect with the boot, adding both conversions and a penalty in the first half to push his side to a 17-0 lead after 25 minutes. Zimbawe’s first points came from a well-struck penalty from flyhalf Lenience Tambwera in the 30th minute to leave the score at 17-3 at halftime.

Zimbabwe had an early lift after halftime when Tambwera nailed his second penalty in the 41st minute but Rimene replied four minutes later as the sides exchanged three-pointers.

No.8 Thomas Lamboley capped his Hong Kong debut with a try in the 53rd minute as the rangy forward took out a well-deserved reward for 80 minutes of high work rate and hard graft. Rimene’s conversion pushed Hong Kong’s lead to 27-6 with 25 minutes remaining.

Alex McQueen capped another quietly devastating performance when he completed his brace in the 62nd minute with Rimene’s conversion a formality.

Centre Riaan O’Neal spoiled Hong Kong’s final patch of play as he flashed a clean pair of heels to cross over in the 65th minute but Tambwera’s conversion was off the mark. Final score 34-11.

“It was really good to get the win,” said Hong Kong captain Nick Hewson, “But we were a bit disappointed not to take some of the chances we created, especially in the second half.

“Our set piece was good, we had a high percentage of possession and the backs were creating opportunities tonight so hopefully we can execute a few more of those chances on Saturday,” Hewson added.

“Now we can go into the game against Russia with a bit of confidence. We know it is another step up, but we are well ahead of where we were last year. We are creating more plays, our ball carriers are better and our defence is stronger. We gave them points off of our mistakes today and we can’t afford that against Russia,” Hewson added.

Russia beat Hong Kong 31-12 in last year’s effective final, the rematch takes place at 5pm on 19 November at Hong Kong Football Club. Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea will play in the curtain raiser at 2pm, entry is free.

Hong Kong v Zimbabwe:
1. Adam Fullgrabe, 2. Ben Roberts*, 3. Alex Ng Wai-Shing, 4. Finlay Field, 5. Adrian Griffiths, 6. Nick Hewson (Captain), 7. Toby Fenn, 8. Thomas Lamboley*, 9. Jamie Hood (vice Captain), 10. Ben Rimene, 11. Marcus Ramage*, 12. Lee Jones, 13. Ally Maclay, 14. Ryan Meacheam, 15. Alex Mcqueen, 16. Jw Markley, 17. Jack Parfitt, 18. Rohan Cook, 19. Will Eversfield, 20. James Cunningham, 21. Cado Lee Ka-To, 22. Rowan Varty, 23. Edmund Rolston.
*Hong Kong debut

Additional reporting and image: HKRU

Men’s Asian Hockey Federation Cup

hong-kong-hockey-team_group-photo

Eight teams from across the region will compete in the 5th Men’s Asian Hockey Federation Cup which will take place from the 19-27 November 2016 at King’s Park Hockey Ground.

Hong Kong is drawn in Pool A with two time defending champions Bangladesh, Taiwan and Macau. Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Uzbekistan are in Pool B. The pool matches will take place from 19-24, check the full match schedule below, and the medal matches on 26th and 27th November 2016. Entry to all matches is free.

Hong Kong v Bangladesh
6pm, 19 November @ King’s Park Hockey Ground

Hong Kong v Macau
8pm, 21 November @ King’s Park Hockey Ground

Hong Kong v Taiwan
8pm, 23 November @ King’s Park Hockey Ground

The AHF Cup was first organized by Hong Kong Hockey Association in 1997 with the idea of offering opportunities for the second tier Asian teams to gain experience in international tournaments outside of the Asian Games and the Asia Cup and improve their world rankings.

Hong Kong team manager Eddie Leung is confident ahead of the tournament “We aim to get a medal in the Cup. We hope to make good use of the home advantage. When we played against Kazakhstan in March in the FIH World League 2016 Round 1, we were exposed several times but we managed to beat them 4-3 at the end. We will take that experience into the tournament.”

Siu Chun Ming, as captain says it’s important to take each match as it comes “I always encourage the team to stay calm and be tough when we play against stronger opponents. We look forward to the Hong Kong Hockey Community’s support during the tournament.”

Hong Kong Squad
Chan Ka Chun (Kelvin), Chung Yan Chun Michael, James Shepherdson, Chan Hou Fung (Matthew), Iu Chi Him (Felix), Chow Ho Yin (Boris), Poon Chun Yan (Silas), Kwok Chun Ting (Davis), Fahim Khan, Yu Chun Hin (Tony), Siu Chun Ming (Captain), Tso Tsz Fung (Chris), Tsoi Long Ting Gabriel, To Kai Chung (Stanley), Siddick Khan, Sukhmit Singh, Tse Man Chun (Allen), Tsang Kin Kan (Ken)

mens-ahf-cup-2016-match-schedule-8-november-2016

5th Men’s Asian Hockey Federation Cup
Date:
19-27 November, 2016
Venue: King’s Park Hockey Ground
Tickets: Free

Hong Kong Women Prepare to Chase Rugby World Cup Dream

hk-captain-chow-mei

Hong Kong Women prepare to chase Rugby World Cup dream with “both hands” according to coach Jo Hull ahead of December’s key qualifiers against Fiji and Japan. Hull’s side host the three-team tournament that will determine the final two teams from Asia/Oceania at next year’s 12-team World Cup in Ireland.

Hong Kong begin their bid for a debut World Cup appearance on 9 December against Fiji, who beat Papua New Guinea 37-10 in the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship at the start of November to progress to the final stage of qualification. Japan face Fiji on 13 December before Hong Kong’s tie with the Asian champions completes the round robin fixtures four days later.

“It is an amazing opportunity to go to a World Cup that I don’t think the players have had before and there is a real belief in the team that it is not a dream anymore and we are trying to grab it with both hands,” said Hull. “These players know they need to get everything right against Fiji, which means our set pieces and most importantly the contact area and breakdown, are our key focus. The players are excited, but we know we will need to earn this.”

Hull has named an expanded 31-player squad in preparation for the December qualifiers, with Hong Kong entertaining Kazakhstan in two training games this week. Experienced forwards Royce Chan Leong-sze and Christy Cheng Ka-chi return to the squad while new additions include prop Wong Yuen-shan and back Jessica Ho Wai-on.

“We are looking at players who are performing at the moment” added Hull. “The squad has worked very hard over the summer with a series of training camps and strength and conditioning sessions to help minimise errors, but also to bring out the style of rugby we want to develop. We are very positive in our approach to the qualifiers and the Fiji game is everything as it is the first game and a win would position us very well to advance to the World Cup.”

The league-wide representative competition, the Super Series, kick-started the final preparations for the World Cup qualifiers. “The Super Series helped us draw a line in the sand as to how we wanted to play and the players were then able to take that into training,” said Hull. “It has also been encouraging to see the club games getting to a higher level, but we still need to prepare for that step up to international rugby.”

Kwong-Sau-in-Qingdao-2015Ahead of the World Cup Qualification Tournament, Hong Kong will play two friendlies against Kazakhstan, who appeared at the 2014 World Cup in France, on 16 and 20 November as part of a key week of training and preparation.

“Kazakhstan are a tough, physical side who are good at running. We thought they would be good preparation for playing Fiji in that they will offer a similar competition to what Fiji will look like in terms of their physicality, and their desire to play an offload game and keep the ball in play as much as possible,” said Hull.

Fiji scored six tries in their win over Papua New Guinea in the inaugural Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship in Suva as the hosts played their first test in 10 years and the visitors their first ever.

“We saw that game and we are aware that rugby is in the blood in Fiji so they understand the game quite well,” added Hull. “Fiji are big and strong, so we need to go into that first game knowing how we want to play against them. We haven’t played them before in fifteens and that will pose some challenges in our preparations.”

In stark contrast, Hong Kong know Japan extremely well having lost 39-3 and 30-3 in a shortened Asia Rugby Championship earlier this year. “Japan are fast and like to play a high tempo game, but we are confident that we are approaching both games with the objective of finishing in the top two,” added Hull.

The next Women’s Rugby World Cup takes place in Ireland from 9-16 August 2017, with the winner of the qualifiers in Hong Kong going on to face the hosts, (fourth placed finishers in 2014) as well as France and Australia in pool C. The runners-up in Hong Kong will take on 2014 World Cup runners-up Canada, New Zealand and Wales in pool A.

Hong Kong Women’s XVs Training Squad:
Forwards: Karen So Hoi-Ting, Amelie Seure, Angela Chan Ka-Yan, Royce Chan Leong-Sze, Chan Tsz-Ching, Cheng Ching-To, Christy Cheng Ka-Chi, Chow Mei-Nam, Christine Gordon, Tammy Lau Nga-Wun, Lee Ka-Shun, Melody Li Nim-Yan, Sharon Tsang, Jasmine Cheung Shuk-Han, Winnie Siu Wing-Ni, Wong Yuen-Shan.
Backs: Adrienne Garvey, Candy Cheng Tsz-Ting, Chong Ka-Yan, Colleen Tjosvold, Jess Ho, Ivy Kwong Sau-Yan, Lau Sze-Wa, Lee Tsz-Ting, Lindsay Varty, Mak Ho-Yee, Natasha Olson-Thorne, Aggie Poon Pak-Yan, Rose Hopewell-Fong, Sham Wai-Sum, Cindy Yuen Lok-Yee.

Hong Kong v Kazakhstan
International Friendlies
Date: 7:30pm, 16, 20 November, 2016
Venue: King’s Park
Tickets: Free

Additional reporting and image: HKRU

Babar Hayat and Anshuman Rath Steer Hong Kong to Series Victory

babar-hyatt-v-png-nov-2016

Babar Hayat and Anshuman Rath stared in a rain-affected match as Hong Kong triumphed in the third and final One Day International against Papua New Guinea to seal a 2-1 series win at Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground.

After being set an intimidating 245 on a slow surface, captain Babar Hayat (82*) and Anshuman Rath (52*) produced an unbeaten 120-run partnership to guide the home side to victory. The target was adjusted to 178 runs in 38 overs after rain shortened the match while Hong Kong were 170-3 after 31 overs.

HK v PNG 3rd ODI - 8 November, 2016

In  the PNG innings a brilliant unbeaten 76 off 62 balls from Mahuru Dai, smashed in the final overs, saw the visitors recover from 144-6 to 244-7 from their 50 overs.

The chase was far from comfortable for Hong Kong, especially after Nizakat Khan was dismissed for 9 with the score reading 61-3. But Hayat and Rath both scored at near a run-a-ball to quickly shift the pressure back on to the Barramundis. Rath was named man-of-the-match after also taking 3-25 with the ball.

HK v PNG 3rd ODI - 8 November, 2016

Hayat was named man of the series and was understandably delighted after the match. I’m really proud of how we played and came back after losing the last game to win here,” Hayat said. 

“It means a lot to us to win at home in front of our family, friends and fans and really pleased that our senior players stepped up. Obviously it gives us a lot of confidence for the Kenya series in a couple of week’s time.” Hayat added I thought we improved on our fielding and rotating the strike today which is what we wanted to do.”

PNG coach Dipak Patel said the experience for his side had been a worthwhile one despite the loss. We don’t handle the Asian conditions all that well and to lose the series was disappointing but from what we have learned it will be valuable for us,” Patel said.

We’ve loved it here in Hong Kong and been looked after really well and we take away a huge positive of having come back to win that second game after going behind. It’s the last game for us this year so I was really pleased with their attitude.”

hk-cricket-team-nov-2016

Hong Kong will travel to Nairobi next week to play two ICC World Cricket League fixtures against Kenya.

Match Summary
Hong Kong 181-3 in 33.3 overs
(Babar Hayat 82* Anshuman Rath 52*) def
Papua New Guinea 244/7  (Target revised to 178 off 38 overs due to rain)
(Mahuru Dai 76* Anshuma Rath 3-25)

Additional reporting: HK Cricket
Photo: Phoebe Leung