21 April 2019
Hong Kong went down to Papua New Guinea on Sunday by three wickets with 14 balls remaining. Under cloudy skies at United Cricket Club, the Barramundis won the toss and elected to field first.
Mirroring yesterday’s target set by Canada, Hong Kong put on 222/9 in their fifty overs, with skipper Anshy Rath again leading from the front with 85 from 98. Despite taking a nasty blow to the left hand from a rising ball early on, Rath again showed his class as he played an array of drives both through and over the off side field.
Jamie Atkinson (6) was dismissed early when he was caught and bowled by off spinner Sese Bau but Rath, along with Kinchit Shah (22) and Ahsan Abbasi (37) proceeded to pick off the PNG bowlers well, hitting boundaries at regular intervals on a very slow United Cricket Ground outfield.
When Rath was dismissed in the 34th over, caught down the legside, the score was 155. The final 16 overs only saw 67 runs scored and while the final score of 222 was probably worth 240-250 on a quicker ground, it did feel like the side should have scored another 20-30 more runs. PNG was uncharacteristically poor on the bumpy outfield with misfields costing around ten runs and at least four chances going down.
Tony Ura got PNG off to a quick start taking Tanwir Afzal for two sixes in the first over, and he raced to his fifty from only 38 balls. He and Sese Bau (15) put on 71 and a second half century partnership – this time with the captain, got the score to 122 before Assad Vala fell to a sharp catch behind off Ehsan Khan. PNG didn’t hit another boundary for 15 overs.
Charles Amini fell in the 35th over for 11 and after that, panic descended over Windhoek and two more wickets fell in the next eight ball as Siaka (15) and Doriga (1) were also dismissed by Ehsan Khan who was getting the ball to turn on a wicket that up until then hadn’t offered much for the bowlers.
Jason Kila came to the crease, then edged the next ball from Khan, but a diving effort from Kinchit Shah at second slip was unsuccessful – which would’ve been Khan’s five-for. This missed chance went on to cost Hong Kong as Kila finished 36 not out from 42 balls to guide PNG home.
Hong Kong are in third place with two of five round matches completed. Their next match is on Tuesday against Oman who are undefeated after their two matches. TV2 Africa will be broadcasting the match from Wanderers Ground – we will share the streaming link when available.