19 July 2015
Siblings Irfan, Nadeem propel Hong Kong
Opener makes 98, left-arm spinner takes 5 for 12 as Hong Kong finishes second in Group A after 83-run victory over Namibia
Irfan Ahmed's 55-ball 98 helped Hong Kong amass 197 for 8 before it restricted Namibia to 114 all out.
Namibia had jumped to the top of the table following its win over Papua New Guinea in its previous encounter, and victory in its last game would have all but guaranteed its progress to the ICC World Twenty20 2016 in India next March-April. However, with Ireland getting the better of Jersey earlier on Sunday to top the group, Namibia was forced to settle for third spot with seven points from six games, the same as Hong Kong which had a superior net run rate and therefore ended up second.
Hong Kong rode on a 55-ball 98 from Irfan Ahmed to amass 197 for 8 from its 20 overs. Nadeem, Irfan’s older brother, then took 5 for 12 with his left-arm spin to send Namibia tumbling to 114 all out in the 16th over.
Asked to bat first at the Clontarf Cricket Club ground in Dublin, Hong Kong was off to a flier as Irfan and Jamie Atkinson added 56 for the opening wicket. The next three partnerships yielded 34, 31 and 54 runs respectively with Irfan the constant in all three as Hong Kong took the attack to Namibia.
Irfan hit nine fours and four sixes and looked primed for his hundred before being dismissed in the 18th over by Gerrie Synman. Nicolaas Scholtz, the Namibia skipper, used seven bowlers to try and check the Hong Kong’ rate of scoring but with little success, though Snyman did emerge with impressive figures of 4 for 30 from four overs of medium pace.
Namibia need to score at nearly 10 runs an over from the start for victory, but against Hong Kong’s disciplined attack, that was never going to be easy.
Stephan Baard and Snyman did get them off to a brisk start, putting on 23 inside two overs when Haseeb Amjad dismissed both openers with successive deliveries. Namibia never recovered from those twin blows, and lost its first four wickets with just 55 runs on the board.
Sarel Burger (28) and Craig Williams (27) tried to retrieve the situation with a stand of 46 for the fifth wicket when Tanwir Afzal had Williams caught behind by Jamie Atkinson. From then on, Nadeem took over as he spun a tantalising web to pick up the last five wickets and bowl Hong Kong to an impressive victory as Namibia lost its last six wickets for the addition of just 13 runs.
To view the full scorecard, please click here.