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Hong Kong Women Face Baptism of Fire

Hong Kong's Women's Cricket team encountered a baptism of fire in their first ever women's ODI match today in the awesome surroundings of the Gadaffi Stadium, Lahore, in the first match of a series against Pakistan to decide which team goes through to the

17-Sep-2006
LAHORE, 17 September 2006


Sana Mir takes a great catch to dismiss Samantha McIlwraith © AFP
Hong Kong's Women's Cricket team encountered a baptism of fire in their first ever women's ODI match today in the awesome surroundings of the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, in the first match of a series against Pakistan to decide which team goes through to the World Cup Qualifying Series in Ireland next year.
In hot and humid temperatures Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat.
For the first 20 overs the Hong Kong bowlers were on top, with Pakistan struggling for runs and having lost both openers with the score on 60.
Neisha Pratt and Natasha Miles bowled with precision and were assisted by excellent spells from Betty Chan who bowled her 10 overs for a miserly 30 runs. Keenu Gill also put in a good performance taking 2 Pakistani wickets including their captain Urooj Mumtaz.
But thereafter Hong Kong struggled to contain the strong Pakistani batters and the run rate steadily increased as Sajida Shah (53) and Sana Javed (117*) put on an excellent partnership mixing defence with aggression as Pakistan finished their alloted overs with an impressive 292 for the loss of 4 wickets.
In reply Hong Kong lost opener Sarah Eames in the first over to a nippy ball from opener Asmavia Iqbal. Betty Chan stayed at the crease well and was looking solid, though struggling for runs before she was dismissed for 2 from 29 balls.
Pakistan were bowling quite tightly, though still conceding extras, and Natasha and Neisha started to compile a useful partnership. Unfortunately for Hong Kong, Neisha went for 16 after more than an hour in the middle and thereafter Hong Kong found scoring runs a challenge as Pakistan's spinners kept up the pressure.
Hong Kong were all out for 62 in the 32nd over, 231 runs short of the target.
It was a good performance from a well drilled Pakistan team. But Hong Kong showed excellent determination and team spirit, particularly in the field and will take heart from the positive performances of several of their players going into the second match of the serries to be played on 19th September at the beautiful Bagh-e-Jinnah ground, also in Lahore.
The winners of the best of three series go through to the Women's World Cup Qualifying tournament in Ireland in 2007.
Summary Scorecard:
At Gaddafi Stadium: Pakistan Women 292-4 (Sajida Shah 53, Sana Javed 117*; Keenu Gill 2-63) beat Hong Kong Women 62 (Khurshid Jabeen 4-15) by 230 runs
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Report submitted by Mark Burns, Manager Hong Kong Women's Cricket Team