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Hong Kong starts ICC WCL Div 4 tournament with 46-run victory over Italy

Hong Kong got their campaign at the ICC World Cricket League Division 4 off to an impressive start with a confident 46-run victory over Italy at the University Ground in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.


Nadeem Ahmed appeals for a wicket against Italy © ICC Cricket-Europe
 
Hong Kong got their ICC World Cricket League Division 4 campaign off to an impressive start with a confident 46-run victory over Italy at the University Ground in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
Hong Kong won the toss and elected to bat after rain had reduced the match to 41 overs per side. Both opners fell early but Zain Abbas (70) and Butt Hussain (44) steadied the innings and took the total to 50-2 after 18 overs. When Hussain fell with the score at 69, Ilyas Gul joined Abbas and the pair built what turned out to be a match-winning partnership worth 102 runs. They extended Hong Kong's total to 171, which set the innings up for a late surge. Najeeb Amar swatted an unbeaten 22 from 8 balls as Hong Kong scored 65 runs in the last ten overs. Hong Kong eventually finished their innings on an impressive 210-6 from their 41 overs.
The Italians got away to a solid start with the openers putting on 42 runs for the first wicket. But the introduction of spin changed matters and from 42-0, Italy slumped to 49-3 and then 93-7 including the prize wicket of skipper Joe Scuderi for just 4. Some stubborn lower order resistance, led by Hemantha Jayasena who top scored with 28, lifted Italy's final total to 164-9, still 46 runs short. Left-arm spinner Moner Ahmed was the pick of the Hong Kong bowlers, claiming 3-28 from his eight over spell, while Najeeb Amar and Nadeem Ahmed picked up two wickets each.
In other matches played, home team Tanzania beat Jersey by 34 runs while Afghanistan thumped Fiji by 80 runs.
Hong Kong's next match will be against Tanzania on 5th October at Leaders Club, Kinondoni.
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