Afghans bowl out poor-batting Hong Kong in ACC Cup semi-finals
Old habits surfaced again as a poor batting display let Hong Kong down against Afghanistan in the semi-finals at the Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 Cup in Kathmandu yesterday.
Hong Kong were bowled out for 109 with an over to go, mainly due to shoddy batting and poor running between the wickets while combining for the lowest total by Jamie Atkinson's men in the tournament.
Having already booked their berth for the final qualifiers for the ICC World Cup next year, Hong Kong had hoped to go a step further by winning the tournament that they came close to doing two years ago, only to be beaten by the same opponents.
But a dismal performance from the batsmen who failed to come to terms with the wiles of left-arm spinner Hamza Hotak, who claimed four wickets, as well as three suicidal run-outs dashed any hopes of a win over Asia's No1 team outside the test-playing countries.
"We gave them too much of respect. A lot of guys didn't take the responsibility and we threw it away. I think if we had a few more runs on the board, we might have been able to put them under pressure," said Hong Kong coach Charlie Burke. "The wicket was turning and we played the left-armer [Hotak] badly.
"It is a shame, because if we had another 20 runs on the board, I think it might have proved a difference."
Karan Shan grabbed two wickets with his left-arm spin as Afghanistan looked shaky momentarily but there was not enough scoreboard pressure and they overhauled the total with almost three overs remaining.
Hong Kong will now play the losers of the other semi-final between hosts Nepal and the United Arab Emirates in today's play-off for third place.