Haider gets rid of eight Infidels
Afzaal Haider returned the best bowling figures in the Sunday League this season when he grabbed eight for 40 to lift PPR Asia Little Sai Wan to a crushing 116-run victory over KCC Infidels at Mission Road yesterday.
A sensational spell of fast bowling saw the Sai Wan spearhead rip through the opposition line-up. Returning for his second spell, Haider found his line and length as he blazed a trail of devastation with his inswinging yorkers to claim eight wickets in five overs, including a hat-trick.
'It was a good day for me. This is the first time that I have taken a hat-trick and also eight wickets in Hong Kong. There was a little bit of a breeze and it helped me swing the ball,' said Haider.
Infidels got off to a good start chasing 314 with Manoj Cheruparambil showing his class. The young opener got the better of Haider in the opening exchanges as he elegantly blunted the threat from the Sai Wan paceman.
Haider conceded 36 runs in his first six overs before being taken off. But he found his rhythm in his second spell and wickets started to fall like tenpins. In the 10th over, he reached a personal landmark when he claimed Tim Hield out leg before, then clean bowled Imran Farcy. Yarman Vachha walked out to try and avoid the hat-trick wicket and also defend his own best figures of eight for 42 taken four seasons ago. But Haider was in irrepressible form as he had Vaccha out leg before.
'It was a full inswinging yorker right on my toes. My left foot is all bruised. He bowled well,' Vachha conceded afterwards.
Haider completed the rout and sealed the result when he bowled Cheruparambil, who top-scored with 115. In all, the Sai Wan bowler had two victims caught behind, four bowled and two leg before.
Sai Wan's victory was set up by the batsmen led by skipper Tabarak Dar who top-scored with 90, Ayaz Shah (76) and Munir Ahmed (57). They totalled 313 for six in 50 overs, with 215 runs coming off the last 20 overs.
Munir's unbeaten half-century came off 14 balls and included four sixes and six boundaries while Dar needed 50 balls for his knock. The win keeps Sai Wan in touching distance of table leaders HKCC Scorpions.
The defending champions continued their winning ways with a handsome 133-run victory over Vagabonds. Chasing 219 for victory, Vagabonds were bundled out for 85 with left-arm spinner Adam Smith finishing with the impressive figures of 6-3-3-4.
Bowlers seem to be dominating this season. Hussain Butt has twice had seven-wicket hauls, once for Vagabonds and for his new club Pakistan Association. Sai Wan's Munir Dar and Vagabonds Shabbir Ahmed also have taken seven wickets. But Haider went one better yesterday.