Scotland got their World Cup Qualifying campaign off to the worst possible start going down by 17 runs to Hong Kong.

They went into the match on the back of five straight wins from their preparations earlier in New Zealand and when Kyle Coetzer won the toss he had no hesitation in fielding first with the possibility of rain later in the day.

His decision looked to have paid off when Sharif ran out Hong Kong opener Mark Chapman with only five on the board in the third over.

Sharif's opening was the better of the opening attack with his first six overs only conceding seven runs, which made life difficult for Hong Kong.

Irfan Ahmed who had opened the batting however held his nerve and played each ball on its merits as he and Jamie Atkinson took the score to 66 before the introduction of Matt Machan into the attack brought about the breakthrough, getting Atkinson caught by Taylor in the twentieth over.

Ahmed (75) however continued to hold firm and with the assistance of Chapman (36) he helped Hong Kong to 159 before he was the fifth wicket to fall in the thirty eighth over, caught by MacLeod off the bowling of Wardlaw.

The Hong Kong lower order then pushed on and took the score to 263 thanks to Tanwir Afzal (42) and Babar Hayat (31), while Wardlaw picked up a further two wickets to finish with 3 for 57 from his ten over spell.

Scotland in reply got off to the worst possible start with Coetzer again failing with the bat, out in the fourth over for just seven runs.

Worse followed as MacLeod, who already had five consecutive fifties on the tour, became the second wicket to fall having made 11, caught by Chapman off the bowling of Haseeb Amjad with only 33 on the board.

This brought vice captain Preston Mommsen to the crease and together with Machan they set about the Scottish recovery. They added 33 runs for the third wicket before the prolific Machan was trapped in front by Afzal.

Five runs later and Coleman departed and Scotland were in trouble at 71 for 4.

Rob Taylor and Mommsen gave some hope to the Scottish supporters with a fifty run partnership, but when Taylor was out for 28 it was left to Mommsen to try and see Scotland over the line.

However he failed to get support from the lower order as Leask, Cross and Sharif all went cheaply to leave the Scots on 172 for 8.

Hopes were briefly raised when Majid Haq joined him and the pair put together a valuable fifty run partnership, but when Haq was out for 14 to give Haseeb Amjad his third wicket the writing was on the wall.

Mommsen was the last wicket to fall having made 118 from 109 balls, his innings included 13 fours and 1 six, and Scotland fell 17 runs short.

Nadeem Ahmed 4 for 37 and Haseeb Amjad 3 for 53 were the pick of the Hong Kong attack which stuck to their plans to get them off to the perfect start.

Mommsen with his hundred was named Man of the Match which is little consolation as Scotland move on to play Nepal at the Same venue on Thursday (16 January) knowing that victory is a must otherwise their qualifying campaign could be over before it gets started.