Two of Hong Kong's most promising batsmen, Adam Gunthorpe and Manoj Cheruparambil, reached Himalayan heights yesterday when they went on an Everest expedition in the comfort of a Beechcraft aircraft. The SAR can only hope they touch such exalted levels on the pitch when they meet Nepal in the three-day ICC Intercontinental Cup today. Gunthorpe, 21, and Cheruparambil, 25, are the next generation of Hong Kong batsmen. While the rest of the squad snored away their jet lag having arrived from Dubai, this duo, roommates on the trip, along with manager Krishna Kumar were up at the crack of dawn for the adventurous tour of the Everest and its sisters on the Himalayan range. 'It was like being on another planet. It was absolutely superb, an once-in-a-lifetime experience,' said Kumar. He laughed when we asked him if he was dreaming about Hong Kong's batting which in recent times, has plumbed low depths, especially on assignments overseas. It will be up to youngsters like Gunthorpe and Cheruparambil to reach a higher plane with their batting if Hong Kong are to get the better of Nepal in the second match in the ICC Intercontinental Cup - also doubling up as the 2005 ACC Fast Track Countries Tournament. The left-handed Gunthorpe has quickly established himself as one of the key batsmen. Against the United Arab Emirates, his debut game overseas for Hong Kong, the Discovery Bay resident top-scored in both innings, 38 and 46, to show signs of promise. What is more exciting is his positive approach to batting, always looking to score runs. 'He is going to be a player for the future for Hong Kong,' says Hong Kong coach Robin Singh. 'I like the way he approaches the game. He is a very confident young man.' Cheruparambil is another player who has the right technique and one who can score quickly. If he can curb his natural impetuosity to go for one too many big shots, and instead occupy the crease, Hong Kong have a batsman who can become the scourge of any attack. Against the UAE, he was unlucky to be given out to a dubious lbw decision in the second innings just when he seemed to have got his eye in. Both these players will have to take up the responsibility of shoring up Hong Kong's fragile batting on a pitch that is expected to favour the bowlers - Nepal's strength. 'I expect this match to be a low-scoring affair. Anything around 200 will be a good score. From what I have seen, the track will help the fast bowlers and also take some turn. We will need to bat well in our first knock,' said Singh. With senior batsman Rahul Sharma joining the side for this match, Hong Kong's batting will be boosted. Sharma who is struggling with tennis elbow, missed the UAE encounter, which Hong Kong lost by seven wickets after scoring 127 and 184 in their two innings. Singh will name his playing XI just before the game, but it is expected that a number of changes will be made. If Hong Kong need any inspiration, it will come from a very unlikely source - the Chinese ambassador to Nepal, Sun Heping, who wants to attend the match. 'The president of the Nepal Cricket Association informed me that the Chinese ambassador in Kathmandu wanted to watch the match. We will have to send him an official invitation, and I have asked the Hong Kong Cricket Association to issue one,' said Kumar. Having seen the summit of the world's tallest mountain, and with the likelihood of a Chinese ambassador watching them, what more can Gunthorpe and Cheruparambil need for inspiration as they face Nepal today?