HK narrowly avoid drop
by Miranda Yeung
Hong Kong finished eighth at the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Under-19 Elite Cup, as they were stunned by Oman in their final game on Tuesday.
The SAR team were lucky not to be demoted to the ACC Under-19 Challenge group next year.
Hong Kong had a tough game against Oman who won by five wickets.
Although Hong Kong bowlers Zafaran Ali and the Bacon brothers - John and Robert - did a good job, they did not have enough runs to play with.
Hong Kong were dismissed for 95 in 49.5 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat. Oman reached their target in 41.1 overs for the loss of five wickets.
Hong Kong lost to high-flying Afghanistan by 17 runs last Friday. Bowlers Nadeem Ahmed, John Bacon and Shakeel Haq did well to restrict their opponents to 189 all out in 49.4 overs.
But the SAR batsmen failed to perform, and they fell narrowly short of their target, finishing on 172 after 50 overs.
Robert Bacon top-scored for Hong Kong with 47.
'It is a disappointing performance from the under-19 team. We had some good performances against Kuwait and Afghanistan, but poor batting against Malaysia and Qatar cost us the tournament,' said Hong Kong team manager Ravi Nadgev.
Afghanistan beat the United Arab Emirates by 40 runs in their semi-final on Monday. They were due to face Nepal - who beat hosts Malaysia by five wickets in the other semi-final - in yesterday's Cup final.
Hong Kong faced Oman in a play-off for seventh/eighth places after Kuwait, who are in the same group with Hong Kong, finished bottom of their pool. Kuwait lost to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Qatar and Afghanistan.
The team from the Middle East will be relegated to the ACC Under-19 Challenge group for the 2008 tournament along with Thailand, who finished last in Group A.
Meanwhile, the ACC announced that the best cricketer from each participating country - to be selected by ACC development officers - will visit Sri Lanka in November.
The tour will include five one-day matches against local clubs and Sri Lanka Cricket's development side.