Scorpions take Sai Wan scalp
Table leaders Little Sai Wan lost their unbeaten tag to defending Sunday League champions HKCC Scorpions, who posted an accomplished nine-wicket victory at Mission Road yesterday. The defeat was Sai Wan's first loss in six games this season.
'They are a very good all-round side. Their bowling attack is varied and their batting is strong,' said Afzaal Haider, the Sai Wan fast bowler who will be making his debut at the Hong Kong Sixes this weekend.
The absence of lynchpin Tabarak Dar in the batting lineup cost Sai Wan hugely as they only managed to scrape together a measly 145 before being bowled out well before the lunch interval.
Medium-pacer Ryan Eagleson and left-arm spinner Richard Norris were the chief wicket-takers, both grabbing three wickets apiece while medium-pacer Martin Lever chipped in with a brace as Scorpions - aided by some good fielding - dismissed Sai Wan with nine overs to spare.
Scorpions lost an early wicket when Chris Walsh was out caught off the bowling of Haider. But that was the only setback as opener Tim Smart and David Mallinson got together to safely fashion out a nine-wicket win. Smart was unbeaten on 82 while Mallinson hit 51 as they reached the target in the 45th over.
Despite the defeat, Sai Wan still stay on top of the Sunday League standings as Scorpions only managed to collect 16 points. Sai Wan are currently on 90 points from six games while Scorpions are second on 84 from a similar number of matches.
'It is our first loss this season and I hope it will also be our last. We will be back,' said Haider.
Hong Kong Sixes teammate Hussain Butt warmed up for the local showpiece tournament with another superb all-round display for his new team Pakistan Association, who scored an easy 45-run win over cellar-dwellers Sunday Merchants at the Po Kong Village Road ground.
Butt, who has switched from Vagabonds to Pakistan Association, found his killer touch with the ball for the second successive week as he grabbed seven wickets as Merchants were bowled out for 210 chasing a target of 256.
Last Sunday, Butt scored a century and also grabbed seven wickets as he swept Vagabonds to a 128-run victory over Optimists. He continued his irrepressible form for his new club yesterday scoring a quickfire 30 in the Pakistanis total of 255 for nine and then demolishing the Merchants' batting lineup.
HKCC Optimists, meanwhile, scored a four wicket victory over KCC Templars at the Gap Road club.