05 Oct 2018

2018 ACC U-19 Asia Cup - Review

Last week saw the Hong Kong Under-19s take part in the ACC U-19 Asia Cup, held in Bangladesh. The tournament began on 29th September and will come to an end this Sunday 7th October, where India U-19s will play either Sri Lanka or Afghanistan in the Grand Final.

After a one week preparation camp in Malaysia, the boys played Pakistan at the M. A. Aziz Stadium on the 29thSri Lanka at Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on the 30th, and Bangladesh at the same venue on the 2nd of October.

The tournament didn't go as we would have like - we lost all 3 tosses, were sent in to bat on each occasion, and in each game we were bowled out for less than 100. We managed 77 against Pakistan (33 overs), 56 against Sri Lanka (33.1 overs), and then 91 against Bangladesh (46.5 overs).

Despite the three big defeats, there were some positives to take away - Haroon Arshad batted well to score 36 against Pakistan in the opening game, Nasrullah Rana took 4 wickets in a new-ball burst against Bangladesh that reduced them to 30/4, and Wajid Shah faced 168 deliveries across three innings. The boys also improved as the tournament progressed - ultimately batting for 46.5 overs and taking 5 wickets against Bangladesh.

U-19s head coach Mark Farmer was positive about the experience. "Playing three test playing nations in such tough conditions was an incredible experience that has given all involved a clear understanding of the skills required at the top level. Though tough results, the learning that will be taken from the experience cannot understated. It is now an opportunity for players to reflect on the experience, bounce back and look ahead to preparing for the World Cup Qualifiers in December."

The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Division 2 Asia Qualifiers will be played in Thailand later this year - from December 7th to the 17th. This is the pathway event to taking part in the 2020 U19 World Cup. Hong Kong will compete against 9 other teams (Bahrain, Bhutan, China, Kuwait, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and hosts Thailand), and the top 2 will proceed to the Division 1 Asia Qualifiers to be held in April 2019. The lessons learnt and experience gained from this event will go a long way towards our goal of qualifying for U-19 World Cup.

More details on the ACC U-19 Asia Cup can be found here