Hong Kong beat China by 117 runs in historic rematch

The Hong Kong Women's Cricket Team completed the double over their Chinese counterparts when they beat the China Women by 117 runs at Kowloon Cricket Club on 4th July 2007, in the first match between the two sides played on Hong Kong soil.

Neisha Pratt was left stranded on 98 © HKCA
The Hong Kong Women's Cricket Team completed the double over their Chinese counterparts when they beat the China Women by 117 runs at Kowloon Cricket Club on 4th July 2007, in the first match between the two sides played on Hong Kong soil.
Conditions were hot and humid at the start of the match with showers forecast throughout the day. Hong Kong skipper Neisha Pratt won the toss and elected to bat on the astro-turf wicket.
China got an early breakthrough when their skipper Mei Chun Hua claimed the wicket of Emma Phillips, who was caught off a top edge that flew directly behind the wicket-keeper where the very straight fine leg Hu Ting Ting raced in to take the catch. But that was to be their last success for quite a while as Neisha Pratt and Keenu Gill built a useful partnership worth 56 runs. Both batters were initially circumspect but they were quick to punish the bad balls, of which there were plenty. Keenu creamed three delightful boundaries in her 19, including a well struck cut and a spanking straight-drive. She eventually fell LBW to Hu Ting Ting when the score had reached 67.
Neisha Pratt was initially happy to push the ball around for ones and twos. Her first boundary wasn't struck until the 25th ball of her innings but from there on she ratcheted up a gear, striking a further seven fours and four sixes in her sparkling innings. She found a strong partner in Kylie Knott, who played a useful hand as the two shared in an 86-run partnership. The partnership was briefly interrupted by a passing rain shower and it was finally broken shortly after the resumption when Knott, on 17, was caught by Sun Meng Yao off the bowling of Wu Pei Yu.
Pratt was denied a first international century when another rain show forced the players from the field for the second time. Hong Kong had reached 158-3 from 25.3 overs. With plenty of surface water left on the ground, it was not possible for Hong Kong to resume their innings and Pratt was left stranded on 98.
After a two hour break, during which the KCC ground staff worked hard to repair the water-logged ground (now bathed in bright sunshine), China were set a slightly revised target of 157 from 25 overs.

13 year-old Chan Sau Har claimed a brilliant hat-trick © HKCA
Liu Biyu and Sui Shuai opened the innings for China while Hong Kong's new-ball attack was spearheaded by Kristine Wong and Godiva Li. Li claimed the early breakthrough when she had Sui Shuai caught behind off the last ball of the second over. As happened in the first match between the two sides, the Chinese batters struggled to get bat to ball with any real authority and wickets fell at regular intervals as Hong Kong took control. The best partnership of the innings could only crimp together 11 runs and Liu Biyu was the only batter to make it into double figures, with a stubborn 15 from 55 balls faced.
All the Hong Kong bowlers, with the exception of Kristine Wong, picked up wickets and all were very economical. Thirteen year old Chan Sau Har produced the best spell of the day with her left-arm spinners and she was rewarded with a hat-trick from the first three balls of her fourth over. Bian Yuan was her first victim, caught by Kristine Wong while Wu Pei Yu was stumped after being drawn out of her crease. With the field in close for the hat-trick ball, Luo Wen Hong obliged by lobbing a simple return catch to Chan Sau Har, who grasped it with much delight.
With Liu Biyu having been run-out off the last ball of the previous over, from a direct hit by Keenu Gill, China had lost four wickets in four balls and were now teetering at 31-8. Ishitaa Gidwani then picked up her second wicket from the first ball of her second spell and the game looked all but over. But an entertaining last wicket stand worth ten runs kept the players out on the field for another five overs. Up to this point, no Chinese batter had managed to score any runs other than singles but a double by number eleven Wang Meng brought some welcome cheer to the traveling supporters. Unfortunately Wang Meng was run-out shortly thereafter to bring the game to its conclusion.
Hong Kong had scored another decisive victory over their Chinese counterparts, this time by 117 runs, and they will now look forward with confidence to the ACC Women's Cricket Tournament in Malaysia where they will surely be one of the favourites.
It was an excellent, all-round team effort with Neisha Pratt's unbeaten 98 and Chan Sau Har's hat-trick the individual highlights.
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