Hong Kong hanging in after solid Ireland attack on day two of Intercontinental Cup match in Belfast
Tourists will have to overcome a first innings deficit of 79 after being dismissed for 237 on day two
Hong Kong will have to overcome a first innings deficit of 79 after being dismissed for 237 on day two of their Intercontinental Cup match against Ireland.
After losing two wickets in the first over of the day, two quality innings from Nizakat Khan (69) and then Anshuman Rath (73 not out) helped Hong Kong minimise the damage, though they still face an uphill task against a strong home side.
“I’m pretty happy with myself – although I was looking for a big score,” said Nizakat. “I was playing really well which was pleasing after I’ve worked really hard with the batting coaches in Hong Kong on a few things. And I felt really good so hopefully I will get a big score in the second innings.
“Anshy played really well – his innings was what we really needed but unfortunately no one stuck with him. He played to the conditions and looked solid. His innings at the end there has kept us in the game.”
A partnership of 101 between Nizakat and debutant Ninad Shah (38) set the base for Hong Kong’s fight back, while Waqas Khan (27) was the only other player to reach double figures.
Rath was left unbeaten at the other end when Tanveer Ahmed was the last man dismissed with just eight balls left in the day.
Ireland scorecard (click to enlarge)
The Ireland bowlers were relentless all day with spinner George Dockrell (3-46) and Peter Chase (3-50) the pick of the bowlers.
Play will resume at 6pm (Hong Kong time) with some rain forecast for the final two days in Belfast.
“We fought hard and just tried to hang in there after losing the two early wickets,” added Nizakat. “When I was out there with Ninad we were just talking to each other a lot out there to urge each other to hang in there.
“Their bowling was very disciplined and we got no loose balls, so we had to work really hard to score runs and they have bowled to their plans, which have succeeded most of the time.”
“I think we are still short of runs and we wanted to get closer to them so tomorrow is crucial for us. We have to take early wickets so can give ourselves a score to chase down.”