Andrew Nixon (CricketEurope)
Hong Kong's preparations for the Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier were thrown into disarray recently with the decision of captain Anshuman Rath to play Indian domestic cricket as a local player in an attempt to make the Indian national side. This was followed by a Babar Hayat led withdrawal of three other players in protest of the non-selection of Tanwir Afzal.
With brothers irfan and Nadeem Ahmed banned for life recently, and a five year ban for Haseeb Amjad, all for corruption and the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, all involved with Hong Kong cricket will no doubt be looking to concentrate on on field action for a change with a new look Hong Kong side now in Oman for the pentangular series also involving the hosts, Ireland, Netherlands and Nepal.
New Hong Kong captain Kinchit Shah won the toss and decided that his team featuring six players making their T20I debut would bat first. After a 30 run opening partnership between Ahsan Abassi and Nizakat Khan ended when the latter was bowled by Mohammad Nadeem, three run outs in 12 balls had Hong Kong on 42-6.
Their top score came from number 8 Haroon Arshad who scored an unbeaten 19 in their total of 96-9. There were four run outs in all in their innings.
A 70 run third wicket partnership between Khawar Ali and Zeeshan Maqsood helped ensure a straightforward win for the hosts. Skipper Maqsood top scored with an unbeaten 39 as they completed a seven wicket win in 13.5 overs.
Oman will play Ireland tomorrow, whilst Hong Kong will take on Nepal.