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Nizakat, bowlers set up Hong Kong win

Host Ireland folds for 129 to go down by 40 runs in first T20 International

Nizakat, bowlers set up Hong Kong win - Cricket News
Hong Kong secured an emphatic 40-run win over Ireland in the first T20 International.
Nizakat Khan’s brisk half-century and a combined effort from the bowlers led Hong Kong to an emphatic 40-run win over Ireland in the first Twenty20 International at the Bready Cricket Club on Monday (September 5).
Nizakat’s 43-ball 62 and good hands from Babar Hayat (49) and Ehsan Khan (29 not out) powered Hong Kong to 169 for 5 in 20 overs. Chasing the competitive target, Ireland suffered due to lack of substantial partnerships as the Hong Kong bowlers triggered a collapse to bowl the home side out for 129 in 19.3 overs.
Opting to bat, Hong Kong got off to a swift start with Nizakat and Aizaz Khan, the openers, putting on 41 in just 4.4 overs. Nizakat did bulk of the scoring, hitting a six and a four off Craig Young, the right-arm pacer, in the second over and smashing three boundaries off Kevin O’Brien in the fourth. But Young drew first blood when Aizaz holed out to Sean Terry at mid-off for 5.
Walking in at No. 3, Hayat, the captain, got down to business immediately, hitting a four and six off Young. Hayat and Nizakat added 56 for the second wicket before Jacob Mulder prised out the latter for 62. Hong Kong was jolted further when Anshuman Rath was bowled by Andrew McBrine two overs later. But Hayat stood firm, racing to a 31-ball 49 with two fours and as many sixes.
Ehsan’s unbeaten cameo then took Hong Kong past the 150-run mark. Young was expensive, going for 56 runs in four overs while scalping just one wicket.

In response, Ireland got off to a disastrous start as it lost its top four batsmen inside the Power Play with just 24 runs on the board. While Nadeem Ahmed accounted for William Porterfield, the captain, Tanwir Afzal was the chief wrecker, bowling out David Rankin and Sean Terry cheaply.
Ireland was steered back on track through a 59-run fifth-wicket stand between O’Brien and Greg Thompson. But Ehsan ended the stand by dismissing O’Brien for a well-made 24-ball 32 that included three fours and a six.
Building on that association was a 31-run stand for the sixth wicket between Thompson and McBrine, but the latter’s wicket made the task appear a steeper challenge. Once Aizaz got rid of Thompson for 44, Ireland completely lost the plot. Lorcan Tucker was bowled in the next over and Ireland was dismissed for 129 as the last four wickets went down for the addition of just seven runs.
Aizaz was the pick of the Hong Kong bowlers, returning 3 for 10 in three overs, while Afzal, Nadeem and Tanveer picked up two wickets each.
The teams will meet in the second and final match of the series at the same venue on Tuesday.

For full scorecard of the match, click here.

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