Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson warns against complacency
Skipper is eager to keep players focsued on tough games with Nepal and UAE
Jamie Atkinson has urged his side to continue playing "consistent" cricket as Hong Kong go in search of one more win from their last two games in the preliminary round to ensure a place in the Super Sixes at the ICC World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand.
Hong Kong take on Nepal today and then meet United Arab Emirates on Thursday in their last two pool A games with skipper Atkinson warning complacency must not creep in.
"After two good wins confidence in the team is high, but in cricket one bad day at the office can change all that. We've got two tough games coming up against Nepal and UAE, and we just need to work on remaining consistent," said Atkinson.
Hong Kong began the 10-team tournament with a massive 17-run win over Scotland, widely regarded as one of the favourites to clinch one of two berths for associate countries at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. That was followed by an emphatic nine-wicket win over Canada.
"Obviously, the lads are in a great mood after having two very good wins against two very good sides in Scotland and Canada, so the lads have taken a lot of confidence out of these two games," Atkinson said. "We will need to continue this good form into our remaining group matches."
Atkinson has been in fine touch batting at number three with scores of 27 and 63 not out against Scotland and Canada respectively. But he has been overshadowed by Irfan Ahmed, who hit an unbeaten 100 against Canada and has an aggregate of 175 to top the run-scoring table.
"I am happy to play second fiddle. I had the best seat in the house to watch Irfan's hundred and it was sensational. Let's just hope he carries on."
Hong Kong will seek revenge for a loss to Nepal in the ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers in Abu Dhabi in November when Nepal chased down a total of 144.
Atkinson broke his hand wicket-keeping in that match and has since handed over the gloves to Mark Ferguson, but has still contributed hugely in the field taking five catches.
"We will just have to play steadily. Everything is going well right now, but we can't afford to be complacent," he added.