Hong Kong skipper Jamie Atkinson scored his fourth half-century of the tournament and Aizaz Khan grabbed 5-25 as Hong Kong thrashed USA by 77 runs in their final match at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2012. The victory allowed Hong Kong to claim 11th place in the 16-team competition, giving them a World T20 ranking of 21.
The match was played at the ICC Global Cricket Academy's No. 2 ground; the smaller of the two grounds at the world class cricket centre adjacent to the ICC Headquarters. Conditions were fine and warm with a light breeze blowing across the ground.
Hong Kong won the toss and elected to bat. The side included Li Kai Ming, in for Daljeet Singh, while Moner Ahmed remained sidelined due to his ankle injury. Hong Kong opened with Irfan Ahmed and Waqas Barkat taking on the USA bowling attack. The first scoring shot did not come until the last ball of the first over, bowled by Usman Shuja, with Irfan taking two to the third man fielder. Waqas Barkat struck two boundaries in the next over, but was bowled by Muhammad Ghous from the fourth ball. The early setback brought Hong Kong's inform skipper Jamie Atkinson to the crease and he immediately got back into run-scoring mode. In Shuja's second over, Atkinson smacked two boundaries and with Irfan pitching in with another, the big fast bowler was taken for 16 runs. The introduction of spin did not stem the flow of runs from the Hong Kong bats, with Ryan Corns' first over conceding ten runs. Hong Kong's 50 came up at the end of the 6th over, with a trademark sweep for four from Atkinson to the wide fine leg boundary. Shortly afterwards, Corns made a breakthrough for USA when Irfan (23) was stumped by wicket-keeper Steven Taylor after advancing down the wicket.
Hong Kong's out of sorts vice-captain Nizakat Khan joined his skipper at the crease and the pair shared in a brilliant partnership worth 64 runs in 44 balls during which Atkinson brought up his fourth half-century of the tournament. After a poor tournament by his own standards, Nizakat threw off the shackles and played a number of spectacular shots in a swashbuckling innings worth 32 runs off 26 balls, including three 4s and one 6. Nizakat eventually fell to a good catch in the deep off the the medium pace bowling of Orlando Baker, with the score on 120 after 14 overs. Atkinson fell next when he was bowled in Baker's next over - Atkinson's 63 runs were scored off 38 balls and included twelve boundaries. Roy Lamsam and Babar Hayat closed out the innings with an unbeaten partnership worth 42 runs, with Babar scoring 35 of them. Babar smote two 4s and two 6s in his 17 ball innings while Roy managed 7 runs in his 11 ball stay. Thirty runs were scored off the last two overs to lift Hong Kong's total to 177-4 off their 20 overs.
For USA, Orlando Baker was the best of the bowlers with 2-24 from his four overs while Muhammad Ghous and Ryan Corns were the other wicket-takers.
USA's reply got off to an explosive start with Steven Taylor smacking Max Tucker for four boundaries in the first over. Aizaz Khan got an early strike in his first over, dismissing Aditya Mishra with a short ball that he skied to fine leg where wicket-keeper Waqas Barkat ran back and took a good catch. Taylor bludgeoned another four and six before he was caught behind off the bowling of Nizakat Khan. The heart was ripped out of the USA batting in the next over when Aizaz Khan clean bowled both USA skipper Sushil Nadkani (1) and Japen Patel (4), leaving the USA innings teetering at 4-35 off 4 overs. Aizaz plied more misery on the Americans when he clean bowled Orlando Baker (9) to claim his fourth victim of the innings and, in the next over, Adil Bhatti (0) fell LBW to Nizakat. Aizaz claimed his fifth wicket when he cleaned bowled Elmore Hutchison for 0 to leave the USA innings in tatters at 7-45 after 7.2 overs. Aizaz finished his bowling spell with the brilliant figures of 5-25 from 4 overs, with four of his five victims clean bowled.
Ryan Corns and Usman Shuja added 13 runs to the total before a terrible mix-up saw Corns run-out for 9. Li Kai Ming then claimed his maiden senior wicket for Hong Kong when he had Shuja caught at mid wicket by Kinchit Shah for 14. The USA's last pair edged their way to the 100 mark but on that score, Nizakat Khan picked up his third wicket of the innings when he had Abhimanyu Rajp (19) stumped by Waqas Barkat, giving Hong Kong victory by 77 runs.
Aizaz Khan won the Man of the Match award for 5 wicket spell and he was presented with the match ball at the end of the game by Match Referee David Jukes. Nizakat Khan claimed 3-11 from 3.2 overs.
Hong Kong finished the tournament with an overall record of 4 wins and 5 losses.
Prior to the competition final, Jamie Atkinson was the leading run-scorer in the tournament with 345 runs from 8 innings with an average of 49.28 and a strike-rate of 149.35. He hit 48 4s and nine 6s. Irfan Ahmed was the 5th best batsman, scoring 292 runs at an average of 41.71, including 28 4s and 8 6s.
Scorecard: Hong Kong v USA