Safari cancelled for Hong Kong cricketers as they try to bounce back in second ODI against Kenya
Coach Simon Cook sent the players to nets after their loss in the first ICC World Cricket League Championship one-day international
A visit to Kenya is not complete without the mandatory safari excursion. Unfortunately for Hong Kong’s cricketers, the desire to mix with animals simply wasn’t there, for now at least.
Head coach Simon Cook cancelled a planned safari trip for Saturday after Hong Kong lost the first ICC World Cricket League Championship ODI to Kenya and sent the players straight to the nets.
The closest they came to wildlife was when a troop of monkeys arrived to watch them at batting practice ahead of the second and final game on Sunday.
If the primates had turned up on Friday at the Gymkhana Club Ground, they would have expected the Hong Kong players to return for nets because it was the batting that let them down.
The visitors could only muster 222 in 46.2 overs, a target Kenya easily overhauled with their target revised to 200 after Duckworth-Lewis was brought in because of rain.
“We’ve had an unscheduled net session today, we were due to go on safari this morning, but obviously after the defeat it was felt we were better off working on our skills rather than have a bit of leisure time,” said Cook.
“It’s not a punishment, I’m not a fan of naughty-boy nets, it was just taken on a decision to leave no stone unturned in pursuit of an essential victory tomorrow.
“We’ve spoken about taking responsibility more with our top-order batters and rather than getting starts as some guys did yesterday, it’s about going on to produce a match-winning score.
“There is a real fire in the belly to take this match – the guys are very, very disappointed with the loss and the manner of it. It wasn’t a great performance and having said that we still nearly snuck over the line. All the boys are very determined to come away with a win.”
Anshuman Rath was Hong Kong’s best performer with 90, while Kinchit Shah got his team off to a flying start with his 34 of 17 balls.
Kenya’s victory earned them two points to bring their total after seven matches to eight, one fewer than Hong Kong, who are fourth after seven. Papua New Guinea and Netherlands lead the way with 12 points with Scotland on 11 – all three teams having played eight games.
Hong Kong’s Nizakat Khan is one of the Hong Kong batsman looking for improvement after he scored just four.
“A safari was planned but we lost yesterday and to be honest we really wanted to train. I spoke to [captain] Babar [Hayat] and he said as well that he wanted to hit more balls so hopefully we can come back another time for a safari,” said Khan.
“I want to feel good, because I was a bit tense in the first game so I came out today and hit a few balls just to get that feel back.
“We’ve analysed each part of the game yesterday and the boys are very excited for tomorrow’s game and we will bounce back, which is something we do well.”