Anshuman Rath played a fine captain’s knock in a player of the match performance to lead Hong Kong home against Canada in their first World Cricket League Division Two match in Windhoek on Saturday.
Hong Kong chased down Canada’s score of 222 with seven wickets and 16 balls remaining.
In an innings marked with impeccable shot selection and strike rotation, Rath compiled 114 not out from 150 balls during which he struck four boundaries and one glorious six over extra cover.
After the game he spoke of how important this was to the squad and that he was particularly happy with the chase considering Hong Kong’s struggles with chasing in recent times.
He was well supported by the returning Jamie Atkinson in an opening stand of 90 before the former captain was unluckily adjudged LBW by a ball that appeared to take an inside edge first.
Kinchit Shah and Ashan Abbasi scored a pair of 27s putting on 60 and 63 with Rath, respectively. When Abbasi was stumped, Hong Kong required twenty runs – and the final six of them came from a booming Babar Hayat lofted drive that cleared the rope, the media tent, and continued on sailing out of Wanderers Affies Park.
Nikhil Dutta was the pick of the Canadian bowlers with 1/20 (10).
Shah continued his form from the Asia Cup with the ball earlier in the day when he made the first breakthrough. In the second over, Gunasekara went to turn a ball to the legside from a ball Shah bowled a little slower. The front edge looped back to the bowler for Hong Kong’s first scalp.
Dhaliwal 44 (86) and Wijeyeratne 44 (64) then put on a steady 81 from 22 overs before Ehsan Khan broke the partnership in his first over.
Some typically miserly bowling from Tanwir Afzal complemented the economical off spin of Shah and Ehsan Khan, while debutant Jhatha Subramanyan took his first wicket for Hong Kong in a spell of six over that went for 36.
Former South African domestic star / IPL player Davy Jacobs top scored for Canada a with 52* (53) as he held the middle order together. He was also able to up the tempo at the end of the innings, when he thumped two sixes and a four in the penultimate over.
Kinchit Shah came back on for the death overs – and was rewarded for his accurate bowling by taking a hattrick from the final three balls of the innings; LBW, stumped and the third was a great effort from Babar Hayat running in from long on to take a low catch diving forward.
Tomorrow Hong Kong face a PNG side who will be desperate for a win after going down to the hosts in a low-scoring thriller at the Wanderers Ground. After being sent into bat the Barramundis collapsed to be all out for 119. They did have the Namibian side 88/7 but Frylinck and Smit saw them home.
Canada will lock horns with Oman at W.A.P. again tomorrow, on the same wicket, after Oman continued their six-game winning streak over the USA, chasing down 148 in the 48th over after earlier being three wickets down for 17 on day one of WCL2.
Hong Kong 223/3 (47.2 overs) defeated Canada 222/8 (5)
Davey Jacobs 52* (53)
Srimantha Wijeyeratne 44 (64)
Kinchit Shat 4/32 (9)
Ehsan Khan 1/30 10)
Anshuman Rath 114* (150) (POTM)
Jamie Atkinson 35 (50)
Nikhil Dutta 1/30 (10