RAIN DENIES HONG KONG

Afzaal Haider, 10 wicket-haul

Hong Kong finally looked to have achieved the synthesis they’ve been looking for between youth and experience as veteran Afzaal Haider and teen Irfan Ahmed, ably supported by their team-mates, took Hong Kong to the brink of victory in their latest Premier League match. Had rain not intervened, late in the afternoon of the final day, Hong Kong would almost certainly have beaten Malaysia and headed the Premier League table.

Match Report courtesy of Hong Kong Cricket Association, www.cricket.com.hk

Hong Kong stranded on 104-5 chasing 139 for victory

Irfan Ahmed, 174 runs

Hong Kong finished agonisingly short of their victory target when rain and bad light brought the ACC Premier League 2006 match against Malaysia to a premature end at the Selangor Turf Club in Kuala Lumpur.

Day Three Summary

Malaysia did just enough with the bat on the third day to secure a draw against Hong Kong in their ACC Premier League match-up in Kuala Lumpur. Resuming on their overnight score of 119-3, Malaysia batted through the first hour's play without further loss to be handily placed at 175-3. But Hong Kong made inroads into the batting line-up in the second hour and Malaysia went to lunch at 254-8. Shortly afterwards, Hong Kong captured the last two wickets as Malaysia finished on 270.

For Malaysia, T Kodikara hit an important 91 while S Muthuraman hit 46. Bowling honours for Hong Kong went to Najeeb Amar (3 for 53) and Amjid Mahmood (3 for 41) while Afzaal Haider grabbed 2 for 46 to complete a ten wicket haul for the match.

Set 139 for an outright victory from a maximum of 70 overs, Hong Kong got off to a disastrous as Tim Smart and Tabarak Dar were dismissed in the opening over to leave them reeling at 2-2. Zain Abbas was dismissed shortly afterwards, at which stage first innings centurion Irfan Ahmed joined Nasir Hameed at the crease. The two batsmen combined in a solid partnership that pushed Hong Kong's total towards 100.

At 92-3, light rain started to fall and the light conditions deteriorated as it had done in the first two day's play. As Hong Kong tried to up the run-rate, they lost the wickets of Irfan Ahmed (33) and Najeeb Amar.

At 6:20PM play was suspended by umpires Ranmore Martinesz and Sek Hon with Hong Kong on 104-5, still 35 runs short of their target. Nasir Hameed was unbeaten on 49 at the close.

Irfan Ahmed was named Man of the Match following his impressive batting in the match.

Day Three Report from Malaysian Cricket Association

Afzaal Haider and Irfan Ahmed put Hong Kong on top against Malaysia

Day Two Summary

Hong Kong batted strongly on the second morning of the match against Malaysia. Overnight batsman Irfan Ahmed continued on from where he left off to hit a magnificent 141 as Hong Kong declared their innings closed at 307-8. Irfan's inninings included 16 fours and a six and lasted 282 minutes. Irfan shared a 166-run partnership with James Atkinson, who hit 51 from 161 balls, and a further 67-run partnership with Amjid Mahmood who scored a quick-fire unbeaten 55 from 57 balls. Thushara Kodikara finished with the best bowling figures of 4-50.

Facing a deficit of 133 on the first innings, Malaysia reached 119-3, still 14 runs in arrears, when play was called off 14 overs before the scheduled finish due to bad light. For Malaysia, Rakesh Madhavan scored 30 while S Muthuraman finished unbeaten on 31 at stumps.

Day Two Report from Malaysian Cricket Association

Career best performances from Afzaal Haider and Irfan Ahmed put Hong Kong well on top in their ACC Premier League 2006 match against Malaysia being played at the Selangor Turf Club in Kuala Lumpur.

Day One Summary

Hong kong skipper Tim Smart won the toss and inserted Malaysia on a placid looking pitch. A cautious start saw the Malaysian openers put together a first wicket partnership of 38 before Afzaal Haider claimed his first wicket of the day. A middle order collapse saw the Malaysians slump to 112-7 with Haider doing the bulk of the damage. Wickets continued to tumble and only a tenth wicket partnership of 53 runs between skipper Rohan Vishnu Suppiah (22) and Mohd Annuar Arudin (26) enabled Malaysia to reach 175 in 58 overs.

Afzaal Haider bowled with control and aggression throughout the innings to claim his best bowling figures for Hong Kong of 19-3-50-8. He received excellent support from his teammates, who held all the chances that came their way.

Hong Kong were also in early trouble but moved to 105-5 at stumps at the close of play on the first day, with Irfan Ahmed unbeaten on 46. Play was called off 14 overs before the scheduled close due to poor light conditions. Malaysian opening bowler Thushara Kodikara claimed three wickets for 28 runs.

Day One Report from Malaysian Cricket Association

Scorecard

Filed November 6 2006