Babar Hayat double ton leads Hong Kong to victory
A double century by Babar Hayat - the highest first-class score by a Hong Kong player - secures a second win in the Intercontinental Cup for Hong Kong.
The game started well enough for Papua New Guinea on the opening day, with Tony Ura and first-class debutant Kiplin Doriga putting on 90 for the opening wicket. The partnership ended when Doriga was out for 40, whilst Ura was the second man out having scored 62.
Lega Siaka and Asad Vala took the score to 145-2 before Siaka was out for 32. That dismissal sparked a collapse of sorts, with the last eight wickets contributing less than 100 between them. Vala was seventh out having scored 40, whilst John Reva provided a little resistance with 25.
The final total for Papua New Guinea was 237. Eight of the ten wickets came from spin bowling, with Nadeem Ahmed taking 5-72 and Ehsan Khan taking 3-66.
At the close of play on day one, Hong Kong were 50-2, with captain Babar Hayat unbeaten on 12. Hayat was still there at the close of day two, having taken his score to 140. Nobody else was making a significant contribution though, with Hong Kong on 269-8 at close.
Hayat continued the run scoring on the third morning and eventually finished the innings unbeaten on 214. It was the first double century in first-class cricket for Hong Kong, but was four runs short of the all-time Hong Kong record held by Hussain Butt, who scored 218 in a three-day match against the United Arab Emirates in 2006.
Hong Kong's total was 348, with Hayat having contributed 61% of his team's runs. The next highest score was Nizakat Khan's 35. Chad Soper was the pick of the bowlers for Papua New Guinea with 4-33.
Facing a deficit of 111, Papua New Guinea capitulated at the hands of Nadeem Ahmed and Ehsan Khan. Ahmed opened the bowling with his left-arm spin and bowled unchanged, taking 4-34 to finish with nine wickets in the match. Off-spinner Ehsan Khan came on first change and took 5-13 to finish with 8 in the match.
Papua New Guinea were bowled out for 82 to lose by an innings and 29 runs. The result takes Hong Kong to third on the Intercontinental Cup table, but they will likely drop to fourth barring an unlikely fightback by Namibia in their match against the Netherlands. Papua New Guinea finish seventh in the table.
Attention now turns to the World Cricket League Championship, with these two teams set to play two ODIs in that tournament on Wednesday and Friday. Papua New Guinea are already in the World Cup Qualifier, but are still in with a shot at qualifying for the new 13 team ODI league should they win more games in these two matches than the Netherlands can win against Namibia.
Hong Kong are still theoretically able to qualify for that tournament should they win both games, Netherlands lose both games to Namibia and Scotland fail to win both games against Kenya. Their main aim though will be to ensure that Kenya do not pip them to fourth place and a spot in the World Cup Qualifier.