Nizakat Khan the hero as Hong Kong crush Ireland to claim Twenty20 international victory
Khan carries his four-day form into the T20 format as he helps tourists to a 40-run victory with 62 off 43 balls
Nizakat Khan carried his four-day form into the Twenty20 format as he helped Hong Kong to a 40-run victory over a strong Ireland side in the first match at Bready on Monday.
Moving up the order to open the batting, Nizakat followed up his century in the ICC Intercontinental Cup by smashing 62 off 43 balls as Hong Kong posted a score of 169 for five from their 20 overs.
Former captain Tanwir Afzal’s opening spell of two for 18 put Ireland under immediate pressure as the hosts were bowled out for 129 in 19.3 overs.
“It’s good to get off and running and particularly against Ireland who are a strong side. The boys played well,” said Hong Kong coach Simon Cook.
“Getting off to a decent start, which is something that has dogged us for the last few games helped with a change in the batting order at the top with Nizakat going in. To get 60 off the first six overs was outstanding and Babar carried it on.
“If you level criticism with Nizikat its been his consistency, so to bat well in both innings in the four-day game and come here and start hitting with calmness and a solid base is a credit to him. Pleased to see some genuine consistency coming along. Opening is a different role for him, which he practised in Sri Lanka recently and did well.”
It was also a good outing for Babar Hayat, Hong Kong’s new captain who was leading the side for the first time in a T20 game.
Babar hit 49 from 32 balls to register Hong Kong’s second-highest score and pick up his first victory as skipper.
“I think the pleasing thing was that everyone contributed. It was a team effort and everyone did their job,” said Babar.
“I’m Really pleased with how I played, it’s my first win as captain and just really proud to get the win for Hong Kong and really proud of my teammates – it will be a good lift to our fans at home.”
Chasing a gettable 170 for victory, Ireland were unable to recover after Tanwir removed captain William Porterfield and Sean Terry to leave the hosts 10 for two.
Aizaz Khan picked up three wickets while Nadeem Ahmed and Tanveer Ahmed also claimed two each.
After today’s second and final T20, the Hong Kong squad travel to Edinburgh to face Scotland in two 50-over one-day internationals.