Cricket Hong Kong

Hong Kong in control of their ICC World Cup destiny after Nepal one-day match is abandoned

The hosts took three points out of a possible four in the two-game series to stay in the hunt for a place in the qualifiers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 October, 2017, 2:26pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 October, 2017, 10:55pm

Hong Kong’s ICC World Cup destiny is in their own hands after an abandoned second match on Monday proved more advantageous to the hosts in their series against Nepal.

After Typhoon Khanun had washed out play on Sunday, the teams were hoping to meet on Monday’s reserve day at Mission Road. However, just when it appeared the pitch was ready for a shortened game in the early afternoon, a fresh downpour forced umpires to abandon the match with both teams receiving one point each.

Hong Kong won the first game on Friday by 83 runs and coach Simon Cook is not complaining too much about their haul of three points out of a possible four, which puts them in fourth place in the ICC World Cricket League Championship standings with 14 points – two points ahead of Kenya.

“I would take that most of the time,” said Cook. “It’s slightly disappointing because in the build-up to these games we were looking to take four points. But the results of other teams meant three or four points would really mean the same thing.

“It’s all in our hands in terms of qualification, and we are focused on winning those next two games and not really worrying about what everyone else is doing.”

The top four in the eight-team competition have a chance to compete in next year’s ICC World Cup 50-over qualifiers. Hong Kong next face Papua New Guinea in a two-match series before the end of the year in United Arab Emirates, needing one victory to guarantee fourth place.

Cook was pleased with Hong Kong’s performance in the first match, in which they defended a score of 194 – Jamie Atkinson hitting 76 – by bowling out Nepal for 111.

“We posted a score that would be considered under par but not by a lot,” he said. “Par score on this pitch, with its character, is about the 220 mark. We were a bit light and that was aided through self destruction and some good bowling by Nepal.

“The positives out of it is that there were some areas of deficiency from our losses against Netherlands [in February] and historically but there was a huge improvement against Nepal.

“Tanwir [Afzal] getting a responsible 38 helped us get a score of 190-odd which was light but competitive. Historically we would have folded a bit and got about 140 or 150, which would not have been enough.

“Aizaz [Khan] getting three wickets and then Ehsan [Khan] finishing with five wickets by bowling nicely and cleverly – there are a huge amount of positives to come out of that game.”