It's been a long wait between ODIs for Papua New Guinea, who have not played an official ODI since their first two against Hong Kong in Townsville, Queensland, a little short of two years ago. But the wait ended today with the first of three ODIs against Hong Kong at the Mission Road Ground in Mong Kok.
Hong Kong captain Babar Hayat won the toss and chose to bat first. Openers Chris Carter and Kinchit Shah were both removed early on, but a third wicket partnership of 78 between Nizakat Khan and Babar Hayat got things on track.
That partnership ended when Khan was bowled by Mahuru Dai for 45, sparking a mini collapse as Hong Kong lost four wickets for just six runs. Hayat was able to put on 60 for the seventh wicket with Tanwir Afzal before Afzal was out for 47 and then 72 for the eighth with Aizaz Khan before Hayat was out for 77.
Aizaz Khan reached 44 before being bowled by Chad Soper, who was the pick of PNG's bowlers with 3-39. The final total for the home side was 269, and they lost their final wicket two balls from the end of their quota of 50 overs.
Papua New Guinea's reply initially proceeded in similar fashion to Hong Kong's innings, with both openers out cheaply before an 83 run third wicket partnership between Lega Siaka and Asad Vala got things back on track. Again like Hong Kong earlier, a mini collapse saw them end up on the back foot at 108-5.
Unlike Hong Kong though, there was no significant partnership to get them back into the game after that mini collapse, and they ended up losing their last four wickets for just seven runs to be bowled out for 163 and lose by 106 runs. Anshuman Rath was the pick of the bowlers with 3-22.
The sides will meet again in the second ODI at the same ground on Sunday before the series concludes on Tuesday.
Hong Kong beat Papua New Guinea by 106 runs
Mission Road Ground, Mong Kok, 4 November
Hong Kong 269 (49.1 overs, Babar Hayat 77, Tanwir Afzal 47, Nizakat Khan 45, C Soper 3-39, M Dai 3-58)
Papua New Guinea 163 (38.2 overs, A Vala 43, L Siaka 36, Anshuman Rath 3-22, Nadeem Ahmed 3-37)