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Hong Kong aims to become number one in World Cricket League Championship

Faces host UAE in two ODIs on Monday and Wednesday

Hong Kong aims to become number one in World Cricket League Championship - Cricket News
Hong Kong currently sits fourth after finishing one-apiece with Namibia in its maiden WCLC clashes in May.

Hong Kong is eyeing the top of the table as it prepares to face the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the second round of the ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCLC) that starts in Dubai on Monday.

Hong Kong is appearing in the ICC Intercontinental Cup after dramatically securing ODI status for the first time at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2014. The one-day competition is a two-year tournament for eight of the leading Associate teams from around the world, and is a pathway to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018. 

Hong Kong currently sits fourth after finishing one-apiece with Namibia in its maiden WCLC clashes in May and claiming two points in the two-match duel. A clean sweep against the UAE could see the side jump all the way to the top of the ladder if it records convincing victories.

Vice-captain Mark Chapman, who arrived in Dubai on Saturday, says the team is confident of a strong performance in both ODIs following its crushing victory over the UAE in the recently completed four-day competition, the Intercontinental Cup.

“I think that the two games will be very competitive. We have a bit of experience playing in the UAE and the boys have put up some strong performances to date on the tour. With such a big win against the same side in the Intercontinental Cup just yesterday, I think the boys will be full of confidence and hungry to continue.”

With one day of rest in between the four-day and one-day competition, the 21-year-old student said his team would adapt easily to the change of format. “I think the same principles apply over all formats of cricket. I don't feel that changing from the red ball to the white ball will be much of an issue. The majority of the guys have played most of their cricket with a white ball, so I'm confident the guys will adjust accordingly.”

Coach Simon Cook said his charges needed to do the simple things well to ensure victory: “As long as we are hitting the areas we want to hit, and executing the plan we want to execute, then by and large, we should come out on top.”

The two sides have only faced each other once in ODIs, an encounter won by the UAE by two wickets during the 2013-14 ACC Premier League. The UAE also won their clash during the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2014, and Cook said his side was looking to make amends: “We have played a lot of shorter form cricket in preparation for the WCLC, and every one of the players has put his hand up. They want to complete a successful tour and that includes a strong showing in the WCLC.”

However, the former county player also believes that his team will need to continue adapting to the unexpected local conditions. “Our preparation coming out here was to play on low, slow wickets, and we are actually playing on a WACA pitch which is fast and bouncy! So it is going to be more hitting the pitch really hard, making it very difficult for batters to get underneath balls, and then executing our death skills at the end, which by and large we’ve been very good at.”

The two ICC WCLC ODIs between Hong Kong will be played on Monday, 16 November and Wednesday, 18 November at ICC Academy 1, Dubai, UAE.

Squads

Hong Kong (from): Tanwir Afzal (captain), Nadeem Ahmed, Haseeb Amjad, Jamie Atkinson, Waqas Barkat, Chris Carter (wicketkeeper), Mark Chapman, Babar Hayat, Aizaz Khan, Nizakat Khan, Waqas Khan, Ehsan Nawaz, Anshuman Rath, Kinchit Shah and Ninad Shah.

 UAE (from): Ahmed Raza (captain), Amjad Ali, Shaiman Anwar, Nasir Aziz, Abdul Shakkor Bangash, Qais Farooq, Asif Iqbal, Raja Adeel Iqbal, Umair Ali Khan, Sreekumar Laxman, Usman Musthaq, M Naveed, Swapnil Patil (wicketkeeper) and Youdhin Punja.

 Umpires: Vineet Kulkarni and Sarika Prasad 

Match Referee: Dev Govindjee

World Cricket League Championship points’ table (as of 14 November 2015)

 

Teams

Mat

Won

Lost

Tied

N/R

Pts

Kenya

4

3

1

0

0

6

Netherlands

4

2

0

0

2

6

Scotland

4

2

0

0

2

6

Hong Kong

2

1

1

0

0

2

UAE

2

1

1

0

0

2

Namibia

4

1

3

0

0

2

Nepal

2

0

2

0

0

0

PNG

2

0

2

0

0

0

ICC World Cricket League Championship matches:

16 November: Hong Kong v UAE, ICC World Cricket League Championship, ICC Academy 1 (One-Day International)

18 November: Hong Kong v UAE, ICC World Cricket League Championship, ICC Academy 1 (One-Day International)

Remaining tour schedule:

21 November: Hong Kong v Oman, Oval 1 Abu Dhabi (Twenty20 International)

23 November: Hong Kong v Pakistanis, ICC Academy (Twenty20 match)

25 November: Hong Kong v Oman, Oval 1 Abu Dhabi (Twenty20 International)

26 November: Hong Kong v Oman, Oval 1 Abu Dhabi (Twenty20 International)

 28 November: Hong Kong v Afghanistan, Zayed Cricket Stadium (Twenty20 International)

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