A combined effort from its batsmen and bowlers gave Hong Kong a hard-fought 23-run victory in its ICC World Cricket League Championship match against Papua New Guinea in Dubai on Wednesday (December 6).
After being sent in to bat, Hong Kong got to 230 for 8 in 50 overs, which while modest proved to be enough as PNG was bowled out for 207 runs in 47 overs.
The Hong Kong batsmen â Anshy Rath (53-ball 37), Nizakat Khan (37-ball 21), Scott McKechnie (42-ball 29) and Tanwir Afzal (21-ball 26) â got starts but failed to convert them into big scores. Babar Hayat, the captain, top-scored with a sedate 120-ball 77, but perished in the 42nd over in search of acceleration.
From 170 for 3 in 40 overs, Hong Kong lost five wickets in the last ten overs and could only manage 60 runs. Norman Vanua (2 for 54), Alei Nao (2 for 46), Chad Soper (2 for 51) and Mahuru Dai (2 for 34) claimed two wickets each.
In reply, PNG got off to a terrible start as they lost Tony Ura (22), Kiplin Doriga (0), Lega Siaka (2) and Vala (3) inside nine overs.
Having slumped to 29 for 4, Sese Bau (59) and Dai (60) then came together for a 98-run stand that brought PNG back in the game. Jack Vare (16) and Vanua (14) also chipped in with some handy runs, before falling to Ehsan Nawaz (2 for 56).
Soper stuck around for a while, but was left with a plenty to do as PNG was sent packing with three more overs left.