Hong Kong generally win when Irfan Ahmed compiles a big score, but even a classic century from the dashing opener failed to breathe life into a sagging campaign in the ACC Premier League in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Hong Kong tumbled to a fourth successive loss - this time to Nepal by seven wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis method - and head coach Charlie Burke warned that several heads will roll.
Irfan hit 106 and batted through the innings to be last man out as Hong Kong were bowled out for 181 in the rain- affected match.
How times have changed for it was only in January at the World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand that Hong Kong handed out a 10-wicket thrashing to Nepal with Irfan blasting a ton on that occasion, too.
"Irfan was magnificent. It was back-to-back 100s against Nepal, but this one was harder as the conditions were tougher, hot and humid, and the wicket was tough to bat on," Burke said.
"It was a shame no one batted around him.
"What was criminal was that once again we failed to bat out all the 50 overs.
"We threw our wickets away carelessly and didn't give our bowlers a total to defend.
"What is most disappointing is that on this tour we have discovered that if a few key batsmen fail, guys like Nizakat [Khan], Babar [Hayat] and even Jamie [Atkinson], there has been no one else stepping up into the breach," Burke said.
"I will be looking at bringing on other players, especially from the under-19s as we can't continue to carry on with performances like this," he added.
Hong Kong have one more game, against hosts Malaysia, to salvage something from this tournament, the first major event since gaining ODI status.