All-rounder Tabarak Dar handsomely repaid the faith of his captain and coach as he led Hong Kong to a convincing 62-run victory over Singapore in the opening match at the Tuanku Ja'afar tournament yesterday. 'We decided to promote him to number four today and he rose to the occasion. It was one of the better knocks I have seen for Hong Kong in recent years,' said skipper Rahul Sharma. Dar scored an unbeaten 92 off 99 balls as Hong Kong, who were put in to bat, reached 231 for six in their allotted 50 overs. But what was most praiseworthy for Sharma was the fact that Dar's innings was made under immense pressure with Hong Kong under duress after being shakily placed on 100 for four in 29 overs. Together with debutant Nasir Hameed, Dar set about rebuilding the innings and setting a challenging target. After a slow start, where he scored only eight runs off his first 30 deliveries, Dar increased the tempo as he and Hameed figured in an entertaining stand of 100 off 113 balls. 'It was most encouraging to see the way they got us out of that hole after we had lost four wickets,' said elated coach Lal Jayasinghe. 'And with Rahul, our most senior batsman, also out, it looked shaky. In the past we would have struggled or simply collapsed. But today everyone pitched in.' Dar ended with four sixes and five fours. Some of the hits were huge and considering the long boundaries at the Selangor Turf Club - the pitch being in the middle of a sprawling race track - it was a massive effort. Added Sharma: 'He paced his innings brilliantly. All credit to both Dar and Hameed. They figured in a key partnership at a key moment of the game.' Sadly, Dar failed to reach a personal milestone - his first century for Hong Kong - as the overs ran out. 'I was cautious at the start as we had lost two quick wickets and I knew we had to rebuild again. But this is my highest score for Hong Kong and I'm pleased it came under these circumstances,' said Dar. Hameed, showing none of the nerves of a debutant, chipped in with 38, while opener Manoj Cheruparambil made 37, with four sweetly hit boundaries. Sharma, recovering from flu, looked a trifle out of touch as he made 22. But the skipper was in the thick of the action when Hong Kong fielded, taking two for 20 in 10 beguiling overs of leg-spin against a young and inexperienced Singapore side. Both his wickets were off successive balls, but the hat-trick eluded him. In the other match yesterday, hosts Malaysia confirmed they will be the team to beat when they trounced Thailand by 115 runs. Malaysia scored 273 for eight, with Sarath Jayawardene making 106 and Suresh Selvaratnam 70. They then bowled Thailand out for 158.