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Hayat, Afzal take Hong Kong to 307/6 in Dubai

United Arab Emirates triggers middle-order collapse but visitor fights back

Hayat, Afzal take Hong Kong to 307/6 in Dubai - Cricket News
Hayat, with support from Kinchit Shah (62 off 119) and Tanwir Afzal - who remained unbeaten on 90 off 152 by the end of the day - held the Hong Kong innings together with a 235-ball knock of 113.
Babar Hayat, playing in only his second first-class match, scored a clinical ton on the first day of Hong Kong’s Intercontinental Cup match against the United Arab Emirates in Dubai on Wednesday (November 11) to help his side reach 307 for 6 by stumps.

Hayat, with support from Kinchit Shah (62 off 119) and Tanwir Afzal - who remained unbeaten on 90 off 152 by the end of the day - held the Hong Kong innings together with a 235-ball knock of 113.

Yodhin Punja, the right-arm medium pacer, gave UAE the ideal start, trapping Anshuman Rath (9) leg before in the fifth over, but Hayat and Shah did not get bogged down by the pressure, and added 106 runs off 193 balls for the second wicket to resurrect the Hong Kong innings.

Shah was finally dismissed in the 37th over when Raja Adeel had him caught by Qais Farooq. With that, a mini collapse ensued, and two more wickets in the form of Nizakat Khan and JJ Atkinson brought the visiting side down from 120 for 1 to 144 for 5 in the space of 10 overs.

That brought Hayat and Afzal, the captain, together and the duo shored up the innings with a 139-run sixth-wicket partnership of 245 balls. Hayat hit ten fours in his knock, which finally came to an end in the 88th over when he nicked Ahmed Raza to Swapnil Patil behind the stumps.


“It was great out there. Scoring a 100 for Hong Kong is great. It’s my first first-class 100 for Hong Kong, and I am so proud of myself,” said Hayat. “I was cramping a bit and (was) a bit stiff, but I was thinking that I should play all 96 overs, but unfortunately, I got out to a good ball. But Tanwir also batted well, and Kinchit also did really well.”

Afzal, with Aizaz Khan (8 n.o.) lending him support, made sure Hong Kong did not suffer any further hiccups, taking their side to stumps with four wickets still in hand.

Adeel and Raza were the most successful bowlers for UAE, sharing four wickets equally, with Punja and Asif bagged one wicket each.

“It’s outstanding to see someone like Babar really put his hand up like that," said Simon Cook, the Hong Kong coach. "We spoke in Hong Kong about what position he’d like to play, and I challenged him to come into that No. 3 position and really make it his own. There are a couple of other players really wanting to bat at three, so it’s good competition for the squad to have guys really want to make those positions their own.”

Both Hong Kong and the UAE are yet to register a victory in the tournament.

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