All over for Hong Kong: Loss to Netherlands means end of prized one-day status
Nepal beat Papua New Guinea to qualify for the next World Cricket League division one competition as Hong Kong go down to division two
Hong Kong are set to lose their one-day status and place among the top associate member nations after losing to the Netherlands in their ICC World Cup qualifiers play-off match in Zimbabwe on Thursday.
Babar Hayat’s men needed to beat the Netherlands and then win another match to avoid being relegated to the second division of the World Cricket League Championship. However, they again failed to click as a batting unit and fell to a 44-run defeat.
Their last match against Papua New Guinea on Saturday will determine ninth and 10th place in the 10-team tournament.
Nepal beat PNG to gain one-day status and qualify for the WCLC top division, effectively replacing Hong Kong and giving their 17-year-old star spinner Sandeep Lamichhane the stage to show the world why he is rated among the game’s top young talents.
All is not lost for Hong Kong, though, they are still among the elite in the T20 format and if they do well in division two of the 50-over WCLC can return to the top league in two years time – and take another stab at qualifying for the World Cup.
Netherlands, coached by former Hong Kong player Ryan Campbell, scored 174 all out in 48.2 overs – hardly a challenging total as Nadeem Ahmed took three wickets and Tanwir Afzal and Ehsan Khan took two each.
Max O’Down hit 62 for the Dutch with captain Peter Borren scoring 31.
Hong Kong’s only decent batting performance was during their group B victory over Afghanistan and once again they failed to put decent partnerships together as they were bowled out for 130 in 43 overs.
Captain Babar Hayat hit 52 but it was not enough as wickets tumbled cheaply around him.
The Netherlands won the WCLC last year to become the 13th one-day international side in a new league featuring the elite test countries but they will be disappointing at being unable to qualify for next year’s 50-over World Cup after failing to reach the Super Six phase.