China lost their first game at the Hong Kong Sixes, but won the hearts of the crowd who cheered the international cricket novices enthusiastically even though the winning team were the Hong Kong Development Squad. 'I was very surprised at the fans. They were cheering for us and I'm very grateful for their support,' China captain Wang Lei said after his side fell short by one run in a gripping exhibition game midway through the tournament yesterday. In a bid to help the sport develop, the Hong Kong Cricket Association invited the mainland's Asian Games squad to the international event. 'The guys have been nervous all week looking forward to the big day,' Rashid Khan, China's Pakistani coach, said. 'But they put aside that anxiety and went out and performed. I'm very proud of them.' The Hong Kong side, led by Roy Lamsam, set China a target of 67 in four overs. Lamsam led the way with an unbeaten 34. China's openers Jiang Shuyao (29) and Zhang Yufei (33) led the run chase with the latter proving quite adept with the bat as he hit Lamsam for two sixes and a four off successive balls. However, needing a boundary off the last ball, Jiang could only manage to push the delivery into the cover region and run two, leaving, his team narrowly short of victory. 'The players need more tactical nous. They are coming along well in terms of skill, but they have to be more aware of what is happening and that will only come from experience,' Khan said. 'We need more exposure and more match practice. Last year we only played in one tournament and that is not enough. 'The more cricket we get, especially in an international setting like this, will help us.'