The Darwin Diaries - Day Two: Practise makes perfect

The Hong Kong team concentrated on two practise sessions during their second full day in Darwin. With Hong Kong's inconsistent fielding effort in the warm-up match against Italy warranting some remedial work, the first two-hour practise session, held at the picturesque Gardens Oval - venue for the WCL Division Three final - coach Sameer Dighe concentrated exclusively on fielding drills. Despite the early 9AM start, conditions were again steamy and frequent breaks for liquid replenishments were necessary during the intensive session.
A short break for lunch was followed by a second two-hour net session back at the Marrara Sports Complex where bowlers and batsmen alike were given another good workout. The session was interrupted by a brief shower of rain, that passed as quickly as it came.

Of interest, some nearby on-field action between Fiji and Papua New Guinea was interrupted when a small brown grass snake slithered across the outfield, much to the consternation of the PNG fielders. PNG eventually ran out easy winners after dismissing Fiji for just 92.

On another ground, Cayman Islands coasted to an easy over Italy after demolishing the Italian batting line-up for just 107. Hong Kong had struggled to make much impression against the Italian batting order, so the result proves that Hong Kong will not be able to take any games too lightly.

The day's activities were completed when all teams congregated at the TIO Stadium for the official Welcome Reception. The Northern Territory Government's Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Hon. Kon Vatskalis, addressed the teams, as did CEO for NT Cricket, Mr Andrew Ramsay, and the ICC Delegate for Argentina and member of the ICC's Chief Executive's Committee, Mr. Ricardo Lord.

With the hoped for match against local opposition not eventuating, tomorrow's activities sees Hong Kong participate in an open wicket practise session back at Marrara Oval. The competition proper starts on Sunday, 27th May when Hong Kong takes on Uganda at Kahlin Oval.