Skipper holds innings together with unbeaten 140 to steer his team to 269 for 8 and a 32-run lead over PNG.
Babar Hayat compiled a patient century to help Hong Kong snatch a narrow lead in its ICC Intercontinental Cup clash against Papua New Guinea at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday (November 30).
After bowling PNG out for 237, mainly due to Nadeem Ahmed’s five-wicket haul, Hong Kong had stuttered to 50 for 2 at stumps on day one. But Hayat, the skipper who was unbeaten on 12, took control of the situation on resumption of play.
The No. 3 batsman’s unbeaten 140, off 310 balls, guided Hong Kong to 269 for 8 from 112.4 overs at stumps on the second day of the four-day encounter, a lead of 32.
All was not disappointing for PNG, though. Its bowlers put up a good show and managed to pick up six wickets on the day. Chad Soper and Damien Ravu, the fast-medium bowlers, returned 3 for 26 and 2 for 40 respectively.
However, the PNG bowlers could find no way past Hayat. Apart from picking up 20 boundaries and smashing two sixes, the Hong Kong captain strung together handy partnerships to boost the total.
After adding 42 runs for the third wicket with Anshuman Rath (22), his overnight partner, Hayat realised 82 for the fourth with Nizakat Khan (35). Waqas Khan’s dismissal for nought put some pressure with the score reading 144 for 5, but Hayat and Ehsan Khan (30) responded by putting on 94 for the sixth wicket.
Aizaz Khan and Ehsan Nawaz fell in quick succession late in the evening to dampen Hong Kong’s hopes of crossing the 300-run mark, but with Hayat unfazed en route to this third first-class century, it will look to add to its token advantage on the morrow.
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