Haseeb Amjad bowls best ever spell as Hong Kong beat the Netherlands
Medium pacer takes six wickets as squad win their fourth straight T20 warm-up match
Haseeb Amjad bowled the "best spell of my life" as Hong Kong came back from the dead, snatching a 27-run victory over the Netherlands yesterday in a warm-up ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
Amjad, 25, grabbed five wickets in 10 balls to spark a stunning Dutch collapse as they were bowled out for 100 in the 17th over after Hong Kong had only been able to muster a modest total of 127, having been put into bat first.
Netherlands were coasting at 83 for three before Amjad, who took a wicket in his first opening spell, came back at the other end to create havoc with pinpoint yorkers and slower balls to decimate the opposition and finish with the best bowling figures by a Hong Kong bowler in an international Twenty20 - six for 21.
"This was the best spell of my life. I thank Allah for giving me the strength and I thank my teammates for their support," said an elated Amjad. "I just bowled stump to stump and mixed up my deliveries and everything worked for me today."
The win extends Hong Kong's run of victories to four in the warm-ups and has given the team much-needed momentum going into the group stage, which begins tomorrow when they play Nepal. They also face Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Only the group winners will progress to the Super 10 stage.
"We have had a fantastic run, defeated Netherlands and Ireland in Dubai, and here beating Zimbabwe and the Dutch again. Winning is a habit and this will give us a lot of confidence as we begin the tournament proper," said head coach Charlie Burke.
Two days ago it was Hong Kong's batsmen who steered the side to a famous victory over Zimbabwe. Yesterday it was the turn of the bowlers.
Mark Chapman was the constant in both matches, hitting his second successive half-century. Chapman, who made an unbeaten 53 against Zimbabwe, was run out for 50 after Munir Dar failed to respond to a single.
Dar, banned from bowling by the ICC for a suspect action, has been picked as a batsman but he has struggled to find his touch. In contrast Chapman was fluent, hitting five fours and a six to anchor Hong Kong to a total way below par on a good batting wicket.
"Chappie batted beautifully once again. He is such a talent and once again took the game to the opposition. It was unfortunate that he was run out for I thought we were about 15 to 20 runs short of a decent score," Burke said.
And it looked like that as the Dutch cruised along spurred by a solid 52 from Stephan Myburgh. But leg-spinner Nizakat Khan, who had earlier dismissed dangerman Ben Cooper, caught Myburgh plumb in front lbw. The Netherlands were 88 for three but then Nizakat pulled off a stunning one-handed catch at mid-off from Haseeb and it triggered a collapse with the last seven wickets falling for 17 runs.