Hong Kong 269 (Hayat 77, Soper 3-39) beat Papua New Guinea 163 (Vala 43, Rath 3-22, Nadeem 3-37) by 106 runs Scorecard
On a spinning pitch at Mission Road Ground in Mong Kok, Hong Kong's new captain Babar Hayat's 77 off 95 proved to be the difference in the first of three ODIs against Papua New Guinea. Hayat's half-century helped revive his team from 111 for 6 to 269, before the left-arm spin of Anshuman Rath and Nadeem Ahmed derailed the chase.
Hong Kong lost their openers cheaply off consecutive balls after deciding to bat, but a 78-run third-wicket stand from Hayat and Nizakat Khan got them back on track. However, once Nizakat fell, five short of a fifty, a mini-slide occurred. It took successive half-century stands from Hayat with Nos. 8 and 9, Tanwir Afzal and Aizaz Khan, to boost his team - and he did this while nursing a groin niggle, which puts him in doubt for the remainder of the series. They eventually were bowled out for 269 in 49.4 overs.
After losing their openers cheaply as well, PNG too recovered to reach 100 for 2 in 17.2 overs but they had no one to anchor their innings, like Hayat for Hong Kong. Offspinner Ehsan Khan triggered a slide by taking out their innings' top scorer Assad Vala for 43, and from there, with no one to arrest the slide, they were spun out for 163 in 38.2.
"It was a great moment for me as first game as captain to get the win and to play well," Hayat said after the game. "There was a lot of turn out there and our spinners bowled really well.
"I'm not sure about the groin, I will see the physio tomorrow and decide whether I can play the next match."