Irfan Ahmed smashed his maiden List-A century at the Rangiora Oval as Hong Kong beat Canada by nine wickets in the tenth match of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier on Friday (January 17). Irfan was part of an unbroken 166-run second-wicket stand with captain Jamie Atkinson helping Hong Kong to its second victory of the tournament after Canada folded for 171 in 48 overs.
Irfan hit 14 fours and two sixes in his 85-ball knock of 100 not out, while Atkinson kept him company with a solid run-a-ball 63, aided by nine fours and a six.
Medium pacer Jeremy Gordon was the only successful bowler for Canada, bagging the solitary wicket of Mark Wright (0), off the fourth ball of the second over. Captain Jimmy Hansra employed five other bowlers, but failed to make any inroad as Hong Kong cruised to the target in the 26th over.
Earlier, choosing to bat first, Canada got off to a steady start before losing both openers, Nitish Kumar (28) and Ravindu Gunasekera (6), in the space of three balls. Hansra also fell soon after, run out by Waqas Barkat for eight.
Raza-ur-Rehman and Trevin Bastiampillai tried to repair the damage with a steady fourth-wicket partnership of 36 but failed to make a big impact. Haseeb Amjad removed Bastiampillai, caught by Mark Ferguson in the 27th over for 29. Rehman (28) was dismissed caught by Atkinson off Barkat an over later as Canada plummeted to 100 for 5.
Barkat and Aizaz Khan picked up one more wicket each, while Irfan effected a run out almost immediately after to restrict the tail-enders from beefing up the total. Amjad dismissed Cecil Pervez and Jeremy Gordon off consecutive deliveries in the 48th over to end Canada’s innings on 171.
Amjad returned figures of 3 for 42. Aizaz and Barkat finished with two wickets each.
Hong Kong will play Nepal in a Group A clash at Rangiora on Sunday, while Canada will wait till Tuesday for its third match, also against Nepal, in Christchurch.