19 February 2019
ICC Women’s Asia Qualifier - China vs Hong Kong
China won the toss and elected to bowl
Hong Kong came up against China in the 2nd game of the 2019 ICC Women’s Qualifier. Hong Kong only made one change to the lineup, Alison Siu coming in for Maryam Bibi against a vastly different China side from the T20 Smash with many of China’s team returning from their 3-year hiatus.
One of those players, Wang Meng returned to open the bowling alongside Zhang Xiangxue. Both Yasmin Daswani and Bella Poon looked to start positively against Wang Meng’s 8-1 offside field. Poon started well against the opening bowling until she played her last and only loose shot which missed everything but the stumps.
Pull To came in to join Daswani, a significant shift from coming in at number 8 from yesterday. She and Daswani started brightly looking to hit the ball hard and reaped the rewards getting to 22/1 after the Powerplay.
The innings steadily progressed as both To and Daswani continued to steadily take singles and doubles where they could against the Chinese spinners of Han Lili and Liu Jie. To continued to a positive influence in the innings as Daswani fell to Lili by mistiming a pull shot and chopped on as Hong Kong got to 50/2 at the beginning of the 13th over.
Vice-Captain Kary Chan, coming in at number 4, looked to try up the tempo of the innings with To and got to 67/2 after 15 overs. Hong Kong had got to 75 before To was run out trying to run a double. Captain Mariko Hill came in and only stayed for a few balls before a good direct hit from Huang Zhou, the China Captain, from Long On. Kary Chan followed the next ball advancing out and missing the line of the ball.
Hong Kong with 16 balls remaining and two new batters, Jasmine Titmuss and Marina Lamplough, continued to look positive and maximise the balls remaining. However, Titmuss looking to pummel the ball was bowled shortly after and Jenefer Davies followed in the next few balls.
With wickets falling in quick succession, Ruchitha Venkatesh went out to bat with 7 balls remaining. Again, next ball, Lamplough hit straight to Extra Cover meaning Hong Kong had lost 5 wickets for 7 runs in 16 balls. Betty Chan took strike for the final over as Hong Kong tried to go past their score of 85 the previous day. Venkatesh and Chan took Hong Kong to 86/8 at the end of their innings.
China looked to start fast through Zhang Chan and Caiyun Zhou against the bowling of Betty Chan and Alison Siu. Zhang’s aggression almost saw her caught at mid-wicket by a flying Bella Poon, only to come out on contact with the ground. But Hong Kong also got the ball swinging with Siu maximising her opportunity and getting Zhou out LBW. Zheng Lili quickly followed as she lofted one straight to Mariko Hill at Mid On off the bowling of Betty Chan. With China left at 16/2, Captain Huang Zhuo came in to bat and played smartly to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
China quickly reached 27/2 after 4 overs and then came Kary Chan. Chan took two wickets in quickly succession as she dismissed both Zhang Chan and Song FengFeng, leaving China on 27/4 after 5 overs.
Zhuo was joined by Zhang Mei and both settled in and tried to create a partnership with her captain. This prompted Ruchitha Venkatesh to come into the attack with China 38/4 after 7 overs. China continued to press on as they got to 48/4 after 9 overs as Zhuo and Zhang continued to strike the ball hard down the ground.
Siu returned to the attack as Hong Kong kept searching for the breakthrough. Captain Mariko Hill then entered the attack as she sought to tie down an end in an effort to stop the flow of runs of the bats of Zhang and Zhuo.
At the end of the 12th over, China reached 59/4 and continued to push on as Hong Kong continued to offer up loose deliveries and extras. An easy drop from Pull To summed up Hong Kong’s fielding in this game as China needed 17 off the last 5 overs.
China, with little pressure, continued to manipulate the ball and take singles as they pleased as Hong Kong continuously struggled to find any rhythm and consistency from both ends. But against the rub of the green, Hong Kong’s Pull To took the much needed wicket of Zhang Mei. With 10 runs needed Han Lili looked to support Zhuo but was cleverly stumped by the quick hands of Jenefer Davies.
Wu Juan followed quickly after as Hong Kong looked to continue their momentum through to the final 2 overs of the game. Hong Kong took the much needed wicket of Huang Zhuo and this left Liu Jie and Wang Meng to try get it to the finish. Betty Chan bowled the final over and had Wang called LBW with 3 balls remaining. However, on the penultimate ball, Zhang Xiangxue struck a ball to the gap between Mid Wicket and ran a quick 2 to secure victory for China. China won by 1 wicket off the final ball of the over.
Hong Kong now have two rest days until their next fixture against the tournament favourites Thailand at the Asia Institute of Technology in the morning fixture on the 22nd February.
Pull To – 37 off 44
Huang Zhuo – 24 off 46
Zhang Mei – 23 off 34
Pull To – 3-0-9-3
Kary Chan – 3-0-8-2
Wang Meng – 4-0-17-2