Cricket World Cup hopes alive and well as Hong Kong crush Namibia

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 January, 2014, 1:07pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 January, 2014, 2:13pm

Hong Kong pulled off a magnificent 76-run victory over Namibia on Tuesday to keep alive their chances of qualifying for the 2015 World Cup.

A match-winning 155-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Mark Chapman and Nizakat Khan set the foundation for Hong Kong’s first win in the Super Sixes in the ICC World Cup qualifiers in Christchurch.

Batting first after winning the toss, Hong Kong’s game plan of keeping wickets intact and piling on the runs at the end of the innings worked beautifully as left-hander Chapman (82) and Nizakat (85) set about laying a platform after Hong Kong had lost their top three batsmen for 37, including the key wickets of opener Irfan Ahmed and skipper Jamie Atkinson.

Chapman departed in the 41st over but along with Nizakat had accomplished a solid foundation which the rest of the batsmen made full use of, with useful cameos from Babar Hayat (24 from 16 balls), Tanwir Afzal (21 from 10) and Haseeb Amjad (17 from 10) allowing Hong Kong to post a creditable 283 for nine. The last 15 overs yielded a healthy 130 runs.

Amjad, one of the top wicket-takers in the 10-team tournament for associate countries, grabbed two early wickets to rock Namibia. A 70-run stand for the fifth wicket between Craig Williams and Chris Viljoen gave a glimmer of hope but Williams’ dismissal in the 37th over caught and bowled by left-arm spinner Nadeem Ahmed left Namibia on 164 for six with their best batsmen back in the pavilion at the Rangiora Oval.

Amjad returned to wrap up the innings, taking two wickets of successive balls as Namibia folded for 207 all out in the 44th over. Amjad finished with figures of four for 33 and was well supported by Afzal (three for 41) and Nadeem (two for 43).

The win leaves Hong Kong on four points, behind Scotland and the United Arab Emirates. All teams have one match left in the Super Sixes.