HK take walloping on chin

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 September, 2008, 12:00am

As lessons go, it doesn't come any harsher. Hong Kong tumbled to a comprehensive nine-wicket defeat in their second outing against the Sri Lanka Academy XI at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

The Tabarak Dar-led side were bowled out for a paltry 105 in 31 overs, resulting in the home team - probably the fourth tier of players knocking on the door for full national representation - sweeping to a comfortable win in just 14 overs and leaving Hong Kong to digest an education in how not to play the game, over lunch.

'It was totally disappointing. We had a bad day at the office,' Hong Kong coach Aftab Habib said. 'We didn't play well at all and got ourselves into quite a mess while batting with some poor shots.'

Unlike in the first game against the same opponents where Hussain Butt got a hundred, there was no saving grace this time, according to Habib. Hong Kong made 218 for five in the first one-dayer, but the home team reached the target for the loss of four wickets. They just tightened the screw in the second outing.

'When you score 105, no one is going to stand out. No one applied themselves. Even though we were up against strong opposition, it was a below-par performance. We were outplayed,' Habib said.

But he believes the huge defeat will help bring the side closer together before next month's crucial trip to Tanzania. Hong Kong's 10-day, four-game tour of Sri Lanka, is a build-up to the ICC World Cricket League Division Four tournament there.

'We came here with the idea of playing against good opposition and trying to learn from them. We got a good lesson in how to bat and bowl. It is a learning curve as we prepare for Tanzania,' Habib said.

He added: 'We have to work harder in practice and then go out and apply ourselves. Hopefully the guys will do better in the remaining two games.'

Hong Kong will play in the Division Four event from October 4-11 in Dar es Salaam where the top two move closer to qualifying for the 2011 World Cup.