Anshuman Rath and Babar Hayat lead Hong Kong to seven-wicket win over Papua New Guinea and 2-1 series triumph
Rath scores a half-century and takes three wickets while Hayat plunders 82 runs, with the home side’s innings shortened because of rain
Captain Babar Hayat and Anshuman Rath combined for a 120-run fourth-wicket partnership to lead Hong Kong to a seven-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea in the third and final one-day international at Mission Road on Tuesday.
The victory, using the Duckworth-Lewis method after rain prevented 12 overs from being played, gave Hong Kong a 2-1 series victory and a confidence-booster ahead of their two-match ICC World Cricket League series against Kenya this month.
Hayat hit 82 off 87 balls, including three sixes, while Rath – in a strong all-round performance – clubbed 52 off 60 balls as Hong Kong scored 181 for three off 33.3 overs. PNG had earlier scored a competitive 244 for seven of their 50 overs but the target was revised after rain with Rath hitting the winning runs with 27 balls to spare.
Hong Kong won the first match on Friday by 106 runs before PNG levelled the series on Sunday with a 14-run victory.
Earlier, Mahuru Dai scored 76 to rescue PNG’s innings with Rath taking three wickets for 25 in his 10 overs.
The target was adjusted to 178 runs in 38 overs after rain shortened the match while Hong Kong were 170-3 after 31 overs.
In the PNG innings, Dai’s brilliant unbeaten 76 off 62 balls, smashed in the final overs, saw the visitors recover from 144 for six.
— Hong Kong Cricket (@CricketHK) November 8, 2016
The chase was far from comfortable for Hong Kong, especially after Nizakat Khan was dismissed for 9 with the score reading 61-3.
But Hayat and Rath both scored at near a run-a-ball to quickly shift the pressure back on to the Barramundis. Rath was named man of the match.
Hayat was named man of the series and was understandably delighted after the match.
“I’m really proud of how we played and came back after losing the last game to win here,” Hayat said.
“It means a lot to us to win at home in front of our family, friends and fans and really pleased that our senior players stepped up.”
“Obviously it gives us a lot of confidence for the Kenya series in a couple of week’s time.”
“I thought we improved on our fielding and rotating the strike today which is what we wanted to do”
PNG coach Dipak Patel said the experience for his side had been a worthwhile one despite the loss.
“We don’t handle the Asian conditions all that well and to lose the series was disappointing but from what we have learned it will be valuable for us,” Patel said.
“We’ve loved it here in Hong Kong and been looked after really well and we take away a huge positive of having come back to win that second game after going behind.”
“It’s the last game for us this year so I was really pleased with their attitude.”
The series victory for Hong Kong maintains their unbeaten record in ODI series at home after they defeated Scotland earlier in the year.
Hong Kong will travel to Nairobi next week to play two ICC World Cricket League fixtures against Kenya.