Cricket Hong Kong

Anshuman Rath guides Hong Kong to 91-run victory over Netherlands in Desert T20

Simon Cook’s side post their highest-ever international limited overs score in Dubai but are unlikely to have done enough to secure a semi-final berth

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 January, 2017, 12:45pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 January, 2017, 2:24pm

Anshuman Rath smashed 44 of just 26 balls before taking three wickets as Hong Kong’s highest-ever international score in the shortened format of the game secured an impressive 91-run victory over the Netherlands in the Desert T20 Challenge in Dubai on Wednesday.

After being dismissed for 88 in their heavy seven-wicket defeat by Oman two days ago, Hong Kong posted 183-4 from their 20 overs at Dubai International Cricket Stadium before dismissing the Netherlands for just 92 inside 16 overs.

The batting total was Hong Kong’s highest-ever score in an international T20 match, and third-highest overall.

“I feel more frustrated than elated because if we’d have played half as well in this game as the others we would have won those matches. We were magnificent tonight,” said Hong Kong coach Simon Cook.

Watch: Netherlands v Hong Kong highlights

“We showed what we can do if we can apply ourselves and have the will to do the job at hand.

“The frustrating thing is they said in the team meeting that this is how they wanted to play and they did it. This wasn’t luck, this was a group of players who wanted to win in emphatic fashion and they did.”

Hong Kong fall to Scotland by 24 runs in Desert T20 opener

Opener Nizakat Khan hit boundaries off the first three balls of the match, and after being dropped, top-scored with 59 off 33 balls, with Waqas Khan not out on 33 from his 25 deliveries.

But it was the contribution of Rath, who finished with bowling figures of 3-6, which proved key as Hong Kong gave themselves a slim chance of reaching the semi-finals should Scotland beat Oman by a signifiant margin on Thursday.

Scotland have already beaten Hong Kong and the Netherlands to top group B, with Cook’s side currently third but trailing Oman by a signifiant margin on net run-rate after the Netherlands recovered from being 63-9 courtesy of a 29-run final wicket stand.

“It wasn’t a hard decision to keep the same side, the batters are in good nick and it was just a case of not over-reacting and backing ourselves,” added Cook.

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“We’ll look back on the tournament and say if we’d have just put on more runs and dragged the match out [against Oman] and think ‘what if’ but we need to remove those and actually deliver.

“Anshuman Rath is right up there already as one of our most consistent players – he’s technically as good as anyone and he’s now got some boundary options. He’s got a 360 scoring area and will always be a useful bowler.”

Regardless of the result between Oman and Scotland, Hong Kong will remain in the United Arab Emirates for a one-day international series against the hosts and Scotland.