Kuwait put up a plucky fight, but in the end were undone by Hong Kong's consistent, committed efforts as they went done by 94 runs in a match that had many elements of good cricket. Hong Kong now move forward to the semi-finals.

Kuwait just didn’t bowl well enough after Hong Kong chose to bat, and leaked runs throughout the Hong Kong innings, 44 wides being symptomatic of a team that still has a long way to go. Even so, they kept plugging away in the field and running out five batsmen – all through smart pieces of work – showed that they are not without competitive ability.

Hong Kong's Kinchit Shah

Hong Kong’s innings was built around Kinchit Shah, who made 69 off 87 balls and the hard-hitting Amandeep Singh who made 35 off 21 (3 fours and 2 sixes). Hong Kong finished their 40 overs on 236 for 8.

At this stage, without a win in the tournament so far, Kuwait had a chance of finishing second in the group and clinching a semi-final place behind Nepal, if they reached their target in 19.3 overs. Their first scoring stroke was a 6 by Zakaria Ali over point and with 15 coming off the first over, both Zakaria and Ali Zaheer going well, it looked like they’d get there.

Zakaria Ali reaches 50
Picture by Rajendra Chitrakar

On 58 in the sixth over though, Ali Zaheer (29 off 16 balls, 4 fours) attempted a reverse-bat dink off Kinchit Shah and Kuwait had lost a pillar of their batting. Zakaria held strong for another thirteen overs until e fell to a good catch by Shimandeep Singh at square leg for 68 off 59 balls, his 50 having come off just 36. Hong Kong dropped a couple of chances but created plenty and took enough of them to define the difference between the sides.

Kinchit Shah
“You did a lot of things well today, tried hard, fielded well and chased everything down,” said Sher Lama Hong Kong’s coach to his team afterwards. Hong Kong’s reward – a semi-final against Singapore on Sunday.

ACC U-16 Elite Cup 2010
Group B
Hong Kong v Kuwait at Tribhuvan University
Hong Kong won the toss and chose to bat
Hong Kong: 236 for 8 off 40 overs (K. Shah 69, A. Singh 35)
Kuwait: 142 all out off 22.4 overs (Z. Ali 68; M. Khatri 4-19)
Man of the Match: Kinchit Shah (Hong Kong)

Tournament Page

Pictures except where stated courtesy Aric Tan

Filed March 12th, 2010