Day 3: Hong Kong v Saudi Arabia at Engineering Ground: HONG KONG SLAM SAUDI ARABIA

  • ACC Twenty20 Cup, Day 3: Hong Kong v Saudi Arabia - Hong Kong have won the toss and have chosen to bat. One change from the XI that played that epic match against Nepal on Saturday, Roy Lamsam RHB/RFM comes in for Asif Khan.
  • Saudi Arabia have made two changes, Waqas Akram coming in for Hassan Malik and Mohammad Abdullah Irfan Farooqi
  • Irfan Ahmed and Babar Hayat, blaster and blasterer, opening for Hong Kong, Mohammad Zaheer RFM on from the Bagmati End for Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia always take a match or two on turf to 'hit their straps' so they should definitely be playing better than they did in that feckless defeat to Kuwait yesterday. Hong Kong need to win to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
  • Decent over by Zaheer to Babar, beat him a couple of times but Irfan responding well to the first pitched-up delivery he received, off-driving for FOUR. Hong Kong 6 for 0 after 1 over
  • WICKET Khawar Sohail SLA strikes early, Babar edges behind. Out for 0 and James Atkinson is in, Hong Kong 6 for 1 at the start of the second
  • WICKET Zaheer strikes with the first ball of his second over, Irfan beaten by one that skids in and Hong Kong in some strife, 8 for 2 at the start of the third
  • Courtney Kruger and James Atkinson with some rescuing to do for their side, 9 for 2 after 3 overs
  • Khawar Sohail SLA who, for all his threat yesterday, was bowling too many deliveries wide of off-stump is pitching on them more frequently today and is thus looking much more of a menace. Kruger and Atkinson having to use their height and reach to the maximum. Hong Kong 11 for 2 in the 4th over
  • This one's going to be a game of mental toughness. The ball's doing more for the fast bowlers on this hazy sunshine, cold, dewy morning than ever before in this tournament and the spinners are getting more purchase too. Grit and guts are going to win.
  • FOUR, super late cut/dink down by Courtney Kruger to break the Saudi shackles annd Hong Kong are 20 for 2 in the 6th over
  • Hammad Saeed LFM on in place of Mohammad Zaheer3-0-7-1 at the Bagmati End
  • Hong Kong starting a recovery, 27 for 2 after 7 overs, Kruger 10*, Atkinson 7*
  • Waqas Akram SLA on in place of Sohail 3-0-10-1 at the Patan End for the 8th over
  • Kruger tries to sweep a ball from outside off, misses, and then is beaten outside off by Akram, Hong Kong 30 for 2 at the end of the 8th over
  • Faheem Afrad LB on at the Bagmati End now. Boundary men at midwicket, long on and wide long off
  • Kruger likes to dominate spinners and is playing more shots against them than Atkinson. His sweep doesn't look the highest percentage shot though
  • A run-out was looking likely WICKET, Atkinson run out in a mix-up with Kruger, 1.5 turning into 1 +run-out as the throw comes in and Hong Kong are 35 for 3 after 9 overs
  • SIX to Nizakat, soaring drive over long-off, Hong Kong's third boundary in 57 deliveries. But is then BOWLED three balls later by Waqas Akram, trapped in two-man's land and Hong Kong need some middle-order magic now, 44 for 4 at the half-way stage
  • Munir Dar RHB, improviser, the new man in. Kruger slams a FOUR a foot beyond the diving mid-on, Hong Kong are on 50 for 4 in the 11th
  • Munir Dar slowing things down here, patting the wicket etc etc, trying to beat back the Saudi spinners' momentum
  • Hong Kong 53 for 4 after 12 overs
  • FOUR to Kruger off new bowler Shoiab Ali OB, just beats the fielder at square leg and then Munir Dar SIXes a reverse sweep, Hong Kong 63 for 4 in the 13th
  • Munir DROPPED next ball at deep square, the ball in the air a long time and that could be costly for Saudi Arabia.
  • In unconventional situations unconventional cricketers like Munir Dar tend to come off, Hong Kong 67 for 4 after 13 and the run-rate is past 5 an over for the first time since the end of the first over
  • End of the 14th over, six from it, Hong Kong 73 for 4
  • Rizwan Qayyum SLA on for the 15th at the Bagmati End.
  • Courtney Kruger might be the better athlete but Munir Dar knows where the singles are and he's hustling through at every opportunity and of course THAT reverse-sweep. Played two, hit two SIXes, Hong Kong 81 for 4 in the 15th
  • Khawar Sohail SLA back for his last over 3-0-10-1 so far
  • Tricky one for a batting side, do you attack the most dangerous bowler because you absoutely need the runs, or do you see him off with as minimal damage as possible?
  • Hong Kong 93 for 4 after 16, Courtney Kruger 38*, Munir Dar 24*
  • 120 is more than likely to be a winning score but Hong Kong have lost Courtney Kruger WICKET caught at deep-extra, he'd been in from the second over, Faheem Afrad the wicket-taker, Hong Kong 93 for 5 at the start of the 17th, Waqas Barkat RHB the new man
  • THAT reverse-sweep, too close to him for heft and weft, Munir dinks it down to fine-leg for FOUR, and then drives to cover for FOUR. Hong Kong 103 for 5 after 17 overs, Munir 34* off 19
  • Waqas Barkat slam-drives a FOUR to mid-on, beats two fielders and Hong Kong in a major late-innings surge here, 108 for 5 in the 18th
  • Saudi fielding ragged now, as Hong Kong boom those strokes in all directions, misfields and a DROP, Munir survives, 119 for 5 with two overs to go, Munir 40* off 22 overs
  • Munir front-foot pulls a FOUR to greet Mohammad Zaheer at the start of the 19th, 123 for 5 now Hong Kong
  • Munir Dar's 50* off 27 balls, Hong Kong 129 for 5 with 7 balls to go
  • A FOUR to fine-leg to finish the over and Hong Kong have put themselves in a potentially winning position here, 133 for 5 with six balls to go
  • Waqas shows he's learnt a thing or two from Munir too, dinks a cheeky one over the keeper for FOUR and then drives for FOUR and then just paddles another round for FOUR and 12 off the over, with three more balls to go, Hong Kong 145 for 5
  • Fourth ball SIX on the tent-roof beyond the mid-wicket boundary
  • Waqas feathers one off the fifth ball, and Aizaz can't connect with the last delivery, 18 off the over and Hong Kong finish on 151 for 6.
  • Saudi Arabia had Hong Kong in some trouble early on, the ball was zipping around and had them at 8 for 2 and then 35 for 3 after 9 overs but 107 runs came off the last 10 overs thanks to Courtney Kruger (38 off 47) and Munir Dar (54* off 28) and Waqas Barkat (25 off 8). Saudi Arabia looking increasingly one-dimensional as the innings went on.
  • Saudi Arabia have hitters. If they come off, 152 will be easy enough, but.....yesterday's game against Kuwait showed they aren't bedded into the concept of playing spin on turf and Hong Kong have three. All to play for - a place in the semi-final to be lost by the loser of this game in all likelihood.
  • Aizaz Khan RMF to open the bowling from the Bagmati End, Khawar Sohail LHB and Hammad Saeed RHB the Saudi bats
  • Hong Kong do look more menacing somehow in their black kit with red flashes, rather more like dragons than when wearing red. WICKET Babar Hayat takes a fine catch, running forward to get both hands under a Hammad Saeed drive and Saudi Arabia are 3 for 1 after 1 over. Target 152
  • New batsman is Kashif RHB for Saudi Arabia, Munir Dar SLA to bowl to him from the Patan End
  • Just one in the deep for him, deep extra, and midwicket after coming inside the circle has to run back next ball for a swirler and misses the CHANCE, Saudi Arabia 6 for 1 in the second over
  • The required run-rate climbing already, Saudi Arabia are really going to have to hunt this down hard, Target 152
  • Hong Kong keeper Mark Ferguson standing up to Aizaz!
  • WICKET Khawar Sohail LHB scoops one to bucket-hands Babar at long-on, running in, and Saudi Arabia are 8 for 2 in the 3rd over, Target 152
  • FOUR the first of the Saudi Innings, Kashif finding the open spaces at sqaure leg and Saudi Arabia are 12 for 2 after 3 overs, Target 152
  • About 400 spectators here today at the Engineering College Ground, appreciative of the action
  • WICKET Munir strikes, has Kashif Meher RHB caught behind and Saudi Arabia are 12 for 3 in the fourth over, Target 152
  • Rizwan LHB is the new Saudi batsman
  • Kashif Shafiq RHB hits his second FOUR, swivel-pulling one to nidwicket and then clips a fine FOUR off Aizaz, Saudi Arabia 20 for 3 in the fifth over, Target 152
  • FOUR byes, Aizaz gets one to climb off a length outside off, keeper Ferguson backs himself to stay up to the wicket, Saudi Arabia 25 for 3 in the fifth
  • Nadeem Ahmed SLA replaces Munir Dar 2-0-3-1 at the Patan End
  • The Saudi batsmen aren't going to get out playing forward defensives
  • Rizwan dinks one to square leg off Nadeem, WICKET, Saudi Arabia 27 for 4 in the sixth over, Waqas the catcher, Target 152
  • Roy Lamsam comes on in place of Aizaz 3-0-17-2 and forces a WICKET Babar Hussain run-out as soon as he came in, Saudi Arabia 27 for 5 in the seventh over, Target 152, Shoaib Ali RHB is the new bat
  • Kashif Shafiq has played the lone hand here so far for Saudi Arabia 18* off 18 balls and he may have finally found a partner who can stick with him in Shoaib Ali. Sticking won't be enough though, they're going to have to start twisting very soon, Saudi Arabia 29 for 5 after 7, Target 152
  • Shoaib FOUR - reverse-sweep off Nadeem, Saudi Arabia 35 for 5 after 8 overs, Target 152
  • The Saudi batsmen aren't going to get out playing forward defensives
  • Rizwan dinks one to square leg off Nadeem, WICKET, Saudi Arabia 27 for 4 in the sixth over, Waqas the catcher, Target 152
  • Roy Lamsam comes on in place of Aizaz 3-0-17-2 and forces a WICKET Babar Hussain run-out as soon as he came in, Saudi Arabia 27 for 5 in the seventh over, Target 152, Shoaib Ali RHB is the new bat
  • Mid-pitch conference between captain Shoaib and Kashif, Saudi Arabia need another 113 off 11 overs, five wickets in hand
  • Nizakat Khan OB comes on replacing Nadeem 2-0-7-1 and Shoaib Ali takes a liking to him, FOUR to midwicket and then the sweetest of SIXes over long-off and Saudi Arabia's most productive over takes them to 51 for 5 at the half-way stage,need 10 more overs of that to reach the Target of 152
  • It was from this point that Hong Kong did their damage when batting, 107 coming off the last 10 overs, Saudi Arabia have to believe they can do the same.
  • Roy Lamsam RFM doing a good job for his side, bowling right up to the stumps, batsman have no room to swing their arms, just four off the over, Saudi Arabia 55 for 5 off 11, need 152 to win
  • Saudi Arabia's captain Shoaib Ali has been carrying an injured right wrist since yesterday and the pain of it has forced him to retire hurt on 9*, Waqas Akram LHB is the new bat, Saudi Arabia 55 for 5 in the 12th over, Target 152
  • Irfan Ahmed RMF replaces Nizakat and Kashif Shafiq the only Saudi batsmen to trouble the scorers guides him fine for FOUR and then drives him through long-off's hands for SIX, Saudi Arabia 67 for 5 off 12 overs, Kashif 47* off 35, Target 152, you know with 105 wanted off 8, it's still possible.
  • Fine FIFTY for Kashif, (36 balls, six4s, two 6s) has played authentic strokes and has not look troubled, Saudi Arabia 75 for 5, needing 77 more to win off 45 deliveries
  • Nadeem SLA 2-0-7-1 back on after that 12-run Irfan over, Saudi Arabia 76 for 5 off 13 overs, Target 152
  • Deep square leg, wide long-off, midwicket. long-on the boundary men for Nadeem. Big over for either team coming up
  • Nine off Nadeem's over, Saudi Arabia 85 for 5, need 67 more to win off 36 overs
  • Five off Irfan Ahmed RMF's comeback over, Saudi Arabia 90 for 5, 62 more wanted, 30 balls to get them in
  • Munir Dar SLA will bowl 12 of those balls
  • WICKET to a run-out, Waqas Akram goes, Saudi Arabia 90 for 6, Kashif 63*, Target 152 with 28 balls to go
  • SIX to Kashif, that'll help the cause, 56 wanted from 27 balls now
  • Saudi Arabia 97 for 6, needing 55 off the last four overs to win, Kashif 70* off 45*
  • WICKET Kashif goes after a fine hand, bowled by the roaring Irfan and that must be the game for Hong Kong now, Saudi Arabia 97 for 7 with an injured batsman, needing 55 more of 23 balls
  • Kashif Shafiq 70 off 46 balls, 7 fours, 3 sixes
  • Hong Kong have a fine 'keeper in Mark Ferguson, brave, agile, great hands
  • Hong Kong have put on a good strangle, just 18 off the last 4 overs, and Saudi Arabia are 103 for 7 with 12 balls to go, needing 152
  • Irfan Ahmed RMF to bowl his last, the penultimate over, 3-0-19-1 so far
  • Saudi Arabia 105 for 8, Target 152, Munir SLA to bowl the last over
  • Saudi Arabia fall for 107, giving Hong Kong a 44-run WIN. Good run-rate boosting win for Hong Kong - that may yet prove a factor in this tight group to determine the last semi-final place
  • Hong Kong pleased they've come back from a difficult situation to win. From 8 for 2 with the bowlers on top to 151 for 6 was an excellent recovery and then their bowlers and fielders executed very well (coach-speak)

ACC Twenty20 Cup, Day 3
Group B, Hong Kong v Saudi Arabia at Engineering Ground
Hong Kong won the toss and chose to bat
Hong Kong: 151 for 6 off 20 overs (C.Kruger 38, M.Dar 54*)
Saudi Arabia: 107 all out off 19.4 overs (K.Shafiq 70; A.Khan 2-17, I.Ahmed 2-21)
Man of the Match: Munir Dar (Hong Kong)

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Filed December 5th, 2011