Burke demands better effort from HK bowlers
Hong Kong head coach Charlie Burke wants more discipline from his bowlers after Bermuda proved how difficult it will be for Hong Kong to achieve their goal of becoming an ICC high-performance team with an easy six-wicket win in a practice match in Dubai.
The loss to Bermuda, one of the favourites in the six-team ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament, was Hong Kong's first hit-out.
The other teams involved are Uganda, Namibia, Papua New Guinea and the United Arab Emirates.
Chasing a reasonable total of 260, Bermuda scored the runs in the 43rd over, leaving Burke with some problems to rectify in the bowling department before the side's opening game against Uganda on Friday.
'While we tried out different bowlers and didn't use the usual ones in the power-plays, we still didn't bowl well,' Burke said.
'We gave away too much width and they will have to tighten up and be more disciplined. The wickets are batsman-friendly and a par score at these grounds will be around 270. We will have to tighten up our bowling and our fielding if we are to do well.'
Hussain Butt top-scored for Hong Kong with an unbeaten 84, while openers Roy Lamsam (78) and Courtney Kruger (31) were also among the runs.
Irfan Ahmed, coming in at seven, scored a quick-fire 32 from 19 deliveries, as Hong Kong finished on 259 for five in their 50 overs.
'I was happy with the batting, but in the middle overs we got tied down a bit. We need to look at scoring off more balls in this period,' Burke said.
Hong Kong tried out eight bowlers but failed to keep the Bermudan batsmen, led by skipper David Hemp (94), quiet.
Max Tucker, Asif Khan and Nizakat Khan each took a wicket but went for more than five runs an over.
Hong Kong will play another trial game, against Namibia, today before the real action gets under way.
New Zealand-based Mark Chapman joined the squad yesterday, while Munir Dar will join the team on Thursday.
The tournament, which runs from April 8 to 15, will be played at the ICC's showpiece Global Cricket Academy in Dubai which boasts three grounds.
Hong Kong is aiming for a top-four finish to qualify as an ICC high-performance country. Teams that qualify are eligible for about US$300,000, and other assistance.