Cricket Hong Kong

Babar Hayat hits Hong Kong’s first double century in first-class cricket

Captain scores 214 not out in the first innings, belting six sixes and 27 fours in an innings and 29-run victory over Papua New Guinea

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 December, 2017, 5:32pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 December, 2017, 10:15pm

Babar Hayat became the first Hong Kong player to score a double century in first-class cricket on Friday in his side’s ICC Intercontinental Cup innings victory over Papua New Guinea in Sharjah.

The Hong Kong captain scored a superb 214 from 421 balls to help his team to 348 all out in 139.3 overs in response to PNG’s first innings of 237 all out.

Ehsan Khan and Nadeem Ahmed then took nine wickets between then as PNG were bowled out for 82 in their second innings, giving Hong Kong victory by an innings and 29 runs in day three of their four-day match – their final fixture of their I-Cup campaign, which features six other teams.

“Obviously, we’re very happy, it was a great performance from the guys and I’m happy for myself,” said Hayat. “I wasn’t really thinking about 200 because we had reached the tail but Tanveer [Ahmed] stood up there and faced the bowlers and he was amazing.

“It was also good to see Nadeem back in the team, he has always performed for Hong Kong and him and Ehsan Khan bowled very well for us.”

Hayat, who will also captain Kowloon Cantons in next year’s Hong Kong T20 Blitz, hit six sixes and 27 fours in his 421-ball stay at the crease and his total was almost double the runs scored by his 10 teammates combined.

Helping Hayat get to his double century was tail-ender Tanveer Ahmed, the last man who stayed for 35 balls without scoring so his captain could reach his double century.

The next highest scorer for Hong Kong was Nizakat Khan, who hit 35, while Ehsan Khan hit 30. Anshuman Rath scored 22.

Ahmed took four wickets for 43 off his 17 overs, to go with his five-wicket haul in the first innings, while Ehsan grabbed five wickets, conceding just 13 runs in his 8.5 overs.

The victory will move Hong Kong, seventh in the eight-team table before the final round of matches, above PNG in the standings.

Depending on other results, Hong Kong could finish fourth.

“We don’t play that many four-day games and if you look at the guys around us and the amount of cricket they play, to finish fourth in an outstanding achievement,” said coach Simon Cook.

“For Babar to score a double century is amazing. It goes against his natural mindset because he’s an attacking batsman, so to bat for more than 400 balls in a low-scoring game is magnificent.

“We did target how we were going to play and the wicket didn’t surprise us and we knew what it would do. It’s nice when your plans and preparations go the way you want and it ended up as a very comprehensive victory.”