Chapman strikes six on last ball to secure eight wicket victory
Chasing 150 for victory, both Babar (65*) and Chapman (63*) struck their highest ever T20I scores to put on a 127-run third-wicket partnership that spanned 14 overs. Their stand was the fifth-highest for the third wicket in T20I history, and the highest ever by an Associate side. It is also the highest-ever partnership in Hong Kong’s T20I and ODI history.
Both batsmen were still at the crease when Chapman struck a mighty six to take the side to 155 for the loss of only two wickets in 18.3 overs. The win also proved a consolation victory in the three-match series, after Oman won the first T20I by six wickets and the second by four runs.
Babar’s historic knock is the highest-ever T20I innings by a Hong Kong player, and came off only 45 deliveries, including four fours and three sixes. Chapman’s innings is the second-highest for Hong Kong, and came from 41 balls, including three fours and three sixes.
The side looked like it might be in trouble when it lost opener Kinchit Shah (5) in the second over, and then Anshuman Rath (20) in the fifth over. However, the two hard hitters showed no signs of pressure as they pushed the ball around for singles in between the boundaries.
Babar brought up his half century with a boundary in the 15th over, while Chapman’s came two overs later after the pair scampered between the wickets for two runs.
Earlier, captain Tanwir Afzal won the toss and sent Oman in to bat, and the side quickly set about putting runs on the board. Khawar Ali (18) and Zeeshan Maqsood (23) put on 34 runs at a run rate of 9.71 before Haseeb Amjad struck in the fourth over to dismiss Khawar, caught at long on by Babar Hayat.
New batsman Aaqib Sulehri was helped back to the change rooms on the very next ball, with Haseeb’s delivery striking his foot and forcing him to retire hurt. After Aizaz Khan dismissed Zeeshan Maqsood four overs later, Adnan Ilyas (49) and Aamir Kaleem (46 not out) combined for a 101-run partnership, scoring at well above a run a ball until Haseeb struck on the last ball of the innings with a plumb delivery, knocking out the stumps to dismiss Adnan one run short of his half century, on 49 runs, to see Oman post a total of 149 for the loss of four wickets.
Hong Kong’s Aizaz and Haseeb each claimed two wickets.
Hong Kong captain Tanwir Afzal was thrilled with his side’s clinical performance: “I think our approach today was really good. I am so happy that throughout this long tour, we’ve had some injuries, but we still have had guys who’ve done really well with the ball and in the field. We’ve struggled a bit with the batting, but it worked in this game and hopefully it is a good sign for us looking forward to our next game against Afghanistan.”
The skipper believed that the victory will put his team in a good mindset for the final match of its tour, a one-off T20I against Afghanistan on Saturday. “I think today was a very comfortable win against Oman, I think we really worked hard and we learned a lot from the last two games, and it is good for us, going forward. We have a few changes in the batting order and different roles, so it is a really positive sign that we clicked in this game, and hopefully it will work in the future.”
Coach Simon Cook was delighted with the record-breaking partnership: “Babar and Mark came out and were outstanding, it’s as good a run-chase as I’ve seen in T20 cricket, you don’t often get 100-partnerships in T20, and we’ve had one of the best ones here. To get an over-par score and knock it off with nine balls remaining was an outstanding effort. The two guys who got runs today really took ownership of that partnership, and ownership of the game, and they controlled it and really never let Oman into the game from probably the 10th over onwards.”
He believed that his charges would take some valuable lessons from the series loss to prepare for Saturday’s one-off T20I against Afghanistan. “The first two games, I think the word ‘frustrating’ was used, and I would probably use it again today - it is frustrating because if we’d played half as well yesterday as we did today, we would have probably taken this series 3-0. But as it is, we go down 2-1, but having learned a lot of really good lessons.”
“The win will fill the guys with a lot of confidence, certainly with a run-chase as emphatic as that. The Afghan bowlers will provide a challenging test for our guys, and also with the ball as well. So there is still a lot of work to do, but a lot of confidence can be taken from this run chase and how it was constructed, and how it was finished off in such a clinical fashion.”
Hong Kong has one T20I remaining in its tour of the UAE, a clash against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. To keep up with the latest match news of Hong Kong’s tour, please go to the tournament page on the HKCA website (http://hkcricket.org/en/news/Hong-Kong-Tour-to-Abu-Dhabi-and-Dubai/391/).
Hong Kong won by eight wickets
Oman 149 for four, 20 overs (Adnan Ilyas 49, Aamir Kaleem 46 not out, Zeeshan Maqsood 23; Aizaz Khan 2-15, Haseeb Amjad 2-52)
Hong Kong 155 for two, 18.3 overs (Babar Hayat 65 not out, Mark Chapman 63 not out, Anshuman Rath 20; Mehran Khan 1-24, Ajay Lalcheta 1-29)
Remaining tour schedule:
28 November: Hong Kong v Afghanistan, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi (Twenty20 International)