PNG cruise to 7 wkt victory over HK at the Air Niugini Super Series 2012
Hosts Papua New Guinea cruised past an inexperienced Hong Kong team by seven wickets today in the opening 50-over match of the Air Niugini International Super Series 2012 being played in Port Moresby. The Hong Kong team, featuring a new captain and six players making their senior debuts, were never in the hunt after being dismissed for 109 in 49 overs. PNG made short work of the chase as they raced to their victory target in under 20 overs for the loss of three wickets.
Earlier in the day, Hong Kong was sent into bat in overcast conditions, with overnight rain leaving the ground a little soft underfoot. Hong Kong's team was lead by Waqas Barkat who was captaining for the first time, in the absence of Jamie Atkinson. His chargers included 14-year-old Anshuman Rath and 16-year-old Karan Shah while Mudassar Hussain, Tanwir Afzal, Haseeb Amjad and Aditya Kanthan were also playing their first senior matches for Hong Kong.
Hong Kong got off to a reasonable start with Barkat and Rath putting on 26 runs for the first wicket off 8.2 overs. Rath was the first to go when he top edged a short ball to wicket keeper Jack Vare off the bowling of Joel Tom for 10. Kinchit Shah, another 16-year-old, entered the fray and he pulled a short ball to the boundary but was out shortly afterwards when he was caught for 5 with the total on 44. Barkat was looking good and he struck four boundaries and one six in his innings of 31 but after a period of being tied down, he holed out to mid-on off the bowling of spinner Jason Kila. Kila then induced a false shot from Nizakat Khan (3) and Hong Kong had slipped to 4-55.
Aizaz Khan (2) was next to fall when he mistimed an attempted leg-side slog and popped a simple catch to mid-on off the bowling of Mahuru Dai. Babar Hayat was looking good and a delightful cover drive to the boundary was one of the shots of the day. However when he reached 16, he hit a simple return catch back to Dai. Tanwir Afzal was bowled for 0 by speedster Willie Gavera and when Haseeb Amjad fell LBW to Dai first ball, Hong Kong had slumped to 8-84.
Mudassar Hussain, who came in at number 7, had batted doggedly for 50 balls to reach 15 but on that score he was bowled by Jason Kila to give that bowler his third wicket of the innings. An entertaining last wicket stand of 17 runs between Aditya Kanthan and Karan Shah lifted Hong Kong's total to 109 before Shah was run out off the last ball of the 49th over.
After a promising start, Hong Kong had lost 5-36 in the middle overs of the innings and the last 8 wickets contributed just 65 runs to the total. The slow bowlers did the damage for PNG with Jason Kila picking up 3-20 from 9 overs, including 4 maidens, while Mahuru Dai claimed 3-11 from 7 overs with 2 maidens.
Hong Kong's defence of their total started promisingly with Haseeb Amjad bowling a maiden over. However Aditya Kanthan struggled to bowl into a stiff breeze and he was hit to the fence for four boundaries in his first two overs with the right-handed Tony Ura and the left-handed Asad Vala taking full toll on any deliveries overpitched or bowled wide of the mark. Amjad continued to bowl well and his was unlucky not to pick up a wicket after beating the bat on numerous occasions. A change to Tanwir Afzal and then Aizaz Khan at the other end however did not stem the flow of runs from the PNG bats. Khan's two overs leaked 23 runs.
The PNG batters put together an opening stand of 87 runs before Tony Ura was trapped LBW by Tanwir Afzal, who replaced Amjad after an excellent, although unrewarded, six over spell. Ura's 52 runs came from 40 balls and included nine boundaries. Afzal enjoyed further success when he trapped new batsman Chris Amini for 2 and then Chris Kent for 5, also by the same method of dismissal.
Mahuru Dai finished the match off in style when he thumped Amjad, now bowling into the wind, over the mid wicket boundary for six. PNG's seven wicket victory was achieved in just 19.2 overs. Asad Vala finished unbeaten on 45, scored off 51 balls and featuring eight fours.
For Hong Kong, Tanwir Afzal was the only successful bowler, claiming 3-16 from five overs while Haseeb Amjad took 0-26 from 7.2 overs in his first bowling effort for Hong Kong.
Score Summary: Hong Kong 109 from 49 overs (Waqas Barkat 31; Jason Kila 3-20, Mahuru Dai 3-11) lost to PNG 113-3 from 19.2 overs ((Asad Vala 45*, Tony Ura 52; Tanwir Afzal 3-16) by seven wickets