Hong Kong fail to solve the mystery of turf wickets
The drawback of a lack of cricket played on turf wickets in the territory was highlighted once again as the Hong Kong Under-19s tumbled to their second successive loss at the hands of Sri Lanka's Kandy Schools.
The territory, who lost their tour opener by nine wickets on Saturday, fared marginally better, but still suffered a five-wicket defeat which coach Lal Jayasinghe put down to the inability of the Hong Kong youngsters to adapt to the different conditions.
'Our lack of batting practice on turf wickets was the key to both our losses. The difference between the two sides has been that the Sri Lankan schoolboys were more selective when they played their shots while our guys got out to bad shots,' said Jayasinghe.
Electing to bat after winning the toss for the second straight day, Hong Kong were soon in trouble with Alex French, one of the more experienced players in the 14-strong squad, being dismissed with the score on nine.
Grayson Tyndale and Jignesh Tailor put on 25 runs - the second-highest partnership - before Kandy Schools struck again with Tyndale being dismissed caught and bowled.
Wickets continued to fall regularly and it was left to Arshad Amdani and Rohan Boghani to put some respectability into the innings with a 44-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
Amdani top-scored with 31. Once they were separated the rest of the batsmen folded meekly to a combination of pace and spin to be all out in the 27th over.
'If we had batted for a full 50 overs we might have scored a total of around 160. That would have given us a fighting chance,' said Jayasinghe.
Chasing the meagre target of 103, Kandy Schools were in a bit of bother, losing their top four batsmen with only 45 runs on the board. Things might have been even more precarious if a catch offered by top-scorer K. Weeraratne (43) before he had opened his account had been taken.
Hong Kong were left to rue the missed chance and the fact that they had insufficient runs to make a match of it.
Hong Kong's third game on this five-game tour is today against Colombo Schools.