Hong Kong warmed up for their defence of their ACC Trophy Elite crown with a 179 run win over China on Tuesday at the Kai Tak Cricket Ground in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong, who were fielding a slightly weakened side, won the toss and chose to bat first. Roy Lamsam scored the runs early, with 38. Vikash Vaswani top scored with 50, whilst Irfan Ahmed, fresh from scoring 237 in a league match on Sunday, scored 45 as the home side reached 258 before being bowled out in the 48th over.
China shared the bowling around, with Wang Lei, Li Jian, Fu Xianchao and Chang Qirui all taking two wickets each. China will no doubt be pleased with that bowling performance, as the only previous time they bowled a side out was against Myanmar in the seventh place play-off at the ACC Trophy Challenge in 2009. To do this against a much stronger side is a promising sign for the future.
But their batting hasn't shown equal improvement. Their total of 79 was mostly down to their 50 year old coach Rashid Khan who scored 36, quarter of a century after he last played for Pakistan. The next highest score, and the only other score in double figures, was Zhang Yufei's 13.
China were bowled out in 33.4 overs, with Aizaz Khan and Najeeb Amar taking three wickets each. They were very economical, going for seven runs between them from a combined 7.4 overs.
The ACC Trophy Elite starts on 31 March in Kuwait, with Hong Kong playing Nepal on the opening day. The other three teams in their group are Singapore, Kuwait and Oman. China's next scheduled international action is the cricket tournament at the 2010 Asian Games in November, though it is likely warm-up matches will be played before then.
Hong Kong beat China by 179 runs
Kai Tak Cricket Ground, Hong Kong, 16 March
Hong Kong 258 (47.1 overs, Vikash Vaswani 50, Irfan Ahmed 45, R Lamsam 38)
China 79 (33.4 overs, Rashid Khan 36, Aizaz Khan 3-3, Najeeb Amar 3-4)