Hong Kong edge low scoring contest against Netherlands
Hong Kong and the Netherlands last met in a warm-up match for the World Twenty20 last year. Whilst the margin was closer, the result was essentially the same - a narrow win for Hong Kong in a low scoring contest.
Hong Kong captain Tanwir Afzal won the toss and chose to bat first, and it didn't take long for the first wicket to fall, Anshuman Rath being removed by Michael Swart in the first over. That early wicket seemed to cause Hong Kong to bat a little cautiously, with Irfan Ahmed reigning in his big hitting style in uncharacteristic fashion.
Irfan Ahmed and Kinchit Shah fell within six balls of each other, but Mark Chapman and Babar Hayat were able to provide some backbone to the Hong Kong innings with a fourth wicket partnership of 44 before Chapman was out for 22 in the 16th over, the first of three wickets for Ahsan Malik.
Hayat went on to score 42 from 35 balls before he was out in the penultimate over, and his team managed to bat out their overs, scoring 113-9.
The Dutch had a far from ideal start to their reply when the dangerous Stephan Myburgh was bowled for a duck by Tanwir Afzal from the second ball of the innings. Swart and Ben Cooper then put on 31 for the second wicket, but a few quick wickets and the Dutch were well on the back foot at the halfway point on 46-5.
Peter Borren and Pieter Seelar were able to steady the ship a little with a 39 run partnership for the sixth wicket, but with those two plus Michael Rippon all dismissed within quick succession, the boat became rocky once more. The tail was able to take the game into the final over but the Dutch fell short when they were bowled out for 104 from the second ball of that over.
Tanwir Afzal and Anas Khan both bowled well for Hong Kong, taking three wickets each. Khan went for fewer runs - 11 to Afzal's 21 - but Afzal took the crucial wickets of Myburgh and Cooper.
The Netherlands will play their second warm-up match tomorrow morning when they play a Western Districts Cricket Union side at Stirling. Hong Kong will play Afghanistan in the afternoon on the same ground in their second and final warm-up match.