Neisha Pratt, the Hong Kong captain, almost single-handedly subjected hosts
Malaysia to a 114-run trouncing at the Johor Cricket Academy in the opening match of the ACC women's tournament.
Pratt made a thumping, chanceless 71 off 77 deliveries as Hong Kong
piled on 143 runs off their allotted 30 overs. In reply, Malaysia could
only muster a mere 29, that too off 29.5 overs.
The hosts almost seemed to be playing for a draw. Opening batsman Emylia Eliani took
36 deliveries for her 5 runs - but that was better than Norlida Hamid, who
was out without scoring after 45 deliveries. The crowd waited patiently while 30
deliveries were played back to the bowler, and were put out of their
misery when Kaori Iida clipped her Hamid's off-stump.
Few runs came off the bat for Malaysia, with 14 of the 29 runs coming in extras. Pratt shone with the ball too, capping the day with a
haul of four wickets.
Pratt's innings of 71 contained three boundaries and a couple of sixes.
She played some powerful strokes, hitting on the up and it was only the
introduction of the slower bowlers that curtailed her run-scoring.
The margin of victory could have been higher for Hong Kong, who were at
86 for 1 at one stage - with Pratt going strong - and looking likely to
sail past their pre-match target of 150. However, they managed only 57
in the last 15 overs, the batsmen tied down by disciplined bowling.
The bowlers though did benefit from umpires being lenient on a number of
deliveries that went down the leg side.