Welcome again from a much (much) colder Hong Kong, about 16 degrees today, but hey the sun is shining and we have some beautiful blue sky!
A nice flight over from Colombo was spoilt a bit by low cloud at the landing, I think we were all looking forward the famous Hong Kong Horizon, but it was not to be!
Friday 21st January 2011, Practice and 'Time to Play'
Another fantastic practice session today at Kai Tak in Kowloon, warm-ups followed by some great competition drills (throwing) and we split into group's today batters and bowlers, each working on specific match related components that have arisen from the tour so far. We have been joined by a Chinese liaison officer 'Angel, she has been teaming up with Ole R to make sure that all of our requirements are met, so far so good!!
The guys managed a bit of R&R this afternoon, various points of interest were visited by the 'Boys'. The management however had to stay close by as we were all involved in Michael Pedersen's debut in press conferences (outside Denmark of course!). The 'Skipper' handled himself really well, tackling a rather tricky question about the World Cup being cut down to ten teams in 2015!
During the evening we all had to attend the opening ceremony for the event, speeches were given by the various dignitaries, and before we knew it we were all off to bed for a 06.00am breakfast at the hotel and the start of the tournament.
Saturday 22nd January 2011, 'Vikings' humbled
Today we travelled to the scenic Hong Kong Cricket Club to play in our first fixture of the Division 3 tournament against Italy. European cricket history was made when the Italian´s ended up victorious against the Danes for the first time ever.
Winning the toss the 'Vikings' were invited to bat on what looked to be a very dry well grassed track. Freddie Klokker (40, 66 balls) and the inform Rizwan Mahmood (50, 79 balls) really looked at home against the Italian attack, they were well supported by Naveed Mughal (26, 34 balls) and Carsten Pedersen (20, 49 balls). For the Italians, Man of the Match, Peter Petricola, with a couple of wickets was the pick of their attack, as the Danes were dismissed off the last ball of the innings for a respectable 227.
In reply the 'Vikings" never really got into the Italian batting line up. A few very close calls were made by us, but Andy Northcote (42), Peter Petricola (52 n.o.) and Darren Crowley (53 n.o.) saw the Italians home with four overs to spare. Jacob Larsen (0 - 29 from 10) and skipper Michael Pedersen (2 for 41) were the pick of the bunch, but they were well supported by the evergreen David Borchersen.
National Coach Simon Talbot was as ever upbeat about the performance. 'If the truth be known, I think we were about 30 to 40 short today. We once again had batsmen establish themselves, and not really kick on to a really big score, having said that I am really pleased with the continued good performances of Rizwan and Naveed, they really do look the part at this level. Michael and Jacob also led the way today, the other bowlers in the unit have to learn to follow their example in terms of both line and length when bowling.'
Next for the 'Vikings'……..USA