Same old story for sorry Hong Kong in Darwin
Tanzania paced their run chase beautifully to ease to a convincing five-wicket victory and leave Hong Kong winless as the preliminary group stage in the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament ended yesterday.
It was the third consecutive loss for Hong Kong in Darwin following a 91-run defeat to Uganda and an eight-wicket thrashing by the Cayman Islands. The loss will relegate Hong Kong to the Plate competition in the eight-team tournament.
More lacklustre batting resulted in Hong Kong eking out a modest 161 after being asked to bat first. Once again the Hong Kong batsmen were guilty of failing to bat out their allotted 50 overs, this time being bowled out for 46.1 overs.
'It was another poor batting performance in perfect conditions. A lot of the guys were out trying to play big shots,' said manager Ravi Nagdev. 'It has been disappointing.'
Veteran Rahul Sharma top-scored for Hong Kong with a patient 43 and together with Gull (28) put on 64 runs for the fifth wicket, a partnership that gave the score some degree of respectability.
The pair came together with the an innings in tatters - at 51 for four with Hussain Butt having been dismissed first ball and following the demise of Irfan Ahmed - and carved out a fighting partnership. But the rest of the batting failed to build on this platform.
Gull departed at 115 followed by Sharma, both falling to catches, and the expected collapse followed as the remaining five batsmen could only manage a further 46 runs.
The only other batsmen to reach double figures were brothers Irfan (14) and Nadeem Ahmed (18), again highlighting the lack of mental application from the local batsmen.
In contrast the East Africans showed how to structure an innings, and, helped by the fact that the total they were chasing was modest, strolled to victory in the 47th over despite tight spells from left-arm spinner Najeeb Amar (two for 16 off 10 overs) and paceman Afzaal Haider (1 for 25 off 10).
'We have nothing but pride to play for now,' Nagdev said pointing to tomorrow's Plate semi-final against Italy.