Cricket Hong Kong

Hong Kong ready for maiden first-class four-day game at home against Netherlands

The fifth-placed local side are looking to move up the table against the third-placed visitors

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2017, 7:33pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2017, 11:16pm

Hong Kong hope to make the most of their first-ever home first-class match when they play Netherlands in an ICC Intercontinental Cup four-day game starting on Friday at Tin Kwong Road.

Since the Mission Road ground was given the okay to stage one-day matches for associate members in 2015, Hong Kong have yet to play at home after their January 2016 clash against Scotland was washed out.

“It’s a big game, both of us are in the top quarter of the table and it’s all pretty tight, so we need a strong performance here,” said Hong Kong coach Simon Cook. “It’s frustrating that our only previous first-class match at home was washed out so we are looking to put on a good show in the first four-day game here in Hong Kong.

“We play two four-day games a year so preparation for a format you only play twice a year is going to be tough. As with all our preparation we have to make do best with what we can in terms of facilities. We’ve come off a good three weeks in Dubai where we practised a lot on turf and did some red ball practise as well, so we are in as good a shape as we can be.”

Hong Kong have 30 points after four matches featuring one win, two losses and one abandoned. They are in fifth place, two behind Netherlands who have 46 points. Ireland lead the eight-team table on 80 points ahead of Afghanistan (61).

“We take this format very seriously and that’s reflected in our preparation. We are not taking it lightly and are out to take home as many points as we can,” said Cook.

“Finishing in the top half of this league was the aim but top four or top three is definitely within our scope. That will be a very, very good achievement as there’s no history of longer-form fixtures in Hong Kong.”

“They are a very good side, their side has a lot of experienced players with also some young players they’ve brought as well. It’s their off-season so our advantage is we have been playing cricket for the last five months and they haven’t, so they may be a bit short of match practice.”