29 June 201514:00

Hong Kong continue winnings ways on Warm-Up Tour

Hong Kong register second win in the build-up to the 14-team ICC World Twenty20 qualifier

Hong Kong continue winnings ways on Warm-Up Tour - Cricket News

Hong Kong, 30 June 2015 – Irfan Ahmed blasted his second successive half-century as Hong Kong chased down a daunting target of 190 set by the Sussex 2nd XI to win by three wickets and keep their unbeaten run in the warm-up matches to the ICC World Twenty20 qualifier alive on Monday (6 July).

Irfan hit 61 and figured in an explosive 100-run opening partnership with teenaged left-handed batsman Anshuman Rath (35) which laid the foundation for the successful run-chase with another left-hander, Mark Chapman, carrying on the good work as Hong Kong reached home with two balls to spare.

“It was a fantastic chase against quality opposition,” said a delighted Hong Kong head coach Charlie Burke. “Irfan continues to show how damaging he can be. The opening stand of a 100, the first in a long time, set the platform and Anshuman showed he is in a good touch too.”

It was Hong Kong’s second win in the build-up to the 14-team ICC World Twenty20 qualifier in Scotland and Ireland from July 9-26. They opened with a convincing win over Ardingly College.

It was a tougher exercise against the Sussex second-stringers which included a number of quality players including ex-Australian one-day captain George Bailey who has been signed by the county as a replacement for Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene. The latter will be the overseas player for the first-half of the NatWest T20 Blast before Bailey takes over.

“Bailey was impressed with the batting of Irfan. At the way he (Irfan) is going, I won’t be surprised if a number of counties approach him after the ICC World Twenty20,” Burke said.

“It was pleasing to win against such a good side and this result will give our squad a lot of confidence,” Burke said. “We now have to fine-tune our preparations before moving to Scotland and then Ireland for the tournament.”

If the batting was in fine form, Hong Kong’s bowling, apart from skipper Tanwir Afzal and Nizakat Khan leaked runs. Sussex batting first after winning the toss made 67 for one in the first 10 overs before cutting loose with the next 10 overs conceding 123 runs.

Afzal and Nizakat were economical, however, each taking a wicket and conceding 24 runs and 19 runs from the four overs respectively. But Buke was unworried about the bowling, which is considered as Hong Kong’s strong point.

“We didn’t play Haseeb (Amjad) as we are trying to bring on a few of the other players so that we have more options at the critical stages of a match which is the power-play and death bowling,” Burke said.

At Blackstone Academy Ground, Hong Kong XI 191/7 from 19.4 overs beat Sussex 2nd XI 190/3 from 20 overs. Hong Kong won by 3 wickets.

Hong Kong will play a second match against the Sussex second-stringers on Tuesday (30 June).