Early run-out proves costly for HK
Munir Dar first in tournament history to be given out by third umpire
Munir Dar will go down in Hong Kong Sixes history as the first man to be dismissed by technology - given out by the third umpire after failing to make his ground while attempting to take a second run yesterday.
His dismissal was costly as Hong Kong fell short in their run chase to lose by 23 runs to Sri Lanka in their opening preliminary-round game.
For the first time in this tournament, the third umpire has come into play.
And long-standing local umpire and former president of the Hong Kong Hockey Association, Roger Nissim, was the man on the spot in the opening match of the tournament.
'It wasn't the margin of the run-out because he was out by a distance. I was called to adjudicate on whether the wicket had been broken properly, whether the wicket-keeper had gathered the ball properly and broken the wicket. He was out,' Nissim said.
'This is the first time this technology was used at the Sixes. I had more than one angle to look at. I had a head-on angle, and also views from square leg and point.
'The cameras slowed down the action as well. It was a great experience for me. Hong Kong gives us these opportunities.'
Dar's early dismissal was crucial as Hong Kong not only lost a batsman who could get the runs easily, but they lost some momentum, especially with his partner at the other end, skipper Manoj Cheruparambil, in sweet touch.
'It was an unfortunate mix-up. We shouldn't have attempted that second run. That dismissal cost us hugely for Munir is one of the best hitters of the ball in our side,' said Cheruparambil. Hong Kong will play their second pool game this morning against Pakistan.
A superb throw from the short square-leg boundary, on the bounce to Sri Lankan keeper Indika de Saram, saw Dar well short of his crease. Unfortunately an early-morning glitch on the two giant video-screens situated on either end of the ground prevented the fans from witnessing the replay.
Hong Kong were set a daunting total - 91 - to chase by Sri Lanka, who only got going in the third over. Left-arm spinner Mark Fuzes was taken to the cleaners when he was belted for five sixes and a four by De Saram. From 18 for two at the end of the second over, the score ballooned to 52 for two. Another 38 runs were added in the remaining two overs and the home team knew they had a fight on their hands.
'It was a big over for them,' conceded Cheruparambil. 'But it can happen to anyone and it is unfortunate that Mark went for a few as he is our best bowler.'
Cheruparambil top-scored with 27 as he vainly tried to step up Hong Kong's strike rate. But outstanding fielding in the deep by Dilhara Lokuhettige - who pulled off two stunning catches - put the brakes on Hong Kong's run chase.
'We came in with a game plan but we didn't exactly execute it. But there is still plenty to play for,' added Cheruparambil.
The new format this year gives teams, who lose all their preliminary-round pool games and finish bottom, another bite at the cherry in today's knockout stages.