Hong Kong stun Netherlands, Ireland reaches Semi of Desert T20 Challenge

By on January 19, 2017

Hong Kong in Desert T20 Challenge wins match against Netherlands. Ireland Reaches in Semifinal by beating United Arab Emirates in Desert T20 Cup 2017. Ireland cemented their place in the semi-final, when they completed a comprehensive victory over UAE in Desert T20 Challenge 2017 on fifth day of competition. They are now second team from Group A, other one is Afghanistan, who is placed in semi-final. In 10th match Hong Kong amazed Netherlands with a massive 91-run victory, knocking the Netherlands out of the Desert T20 challenge.

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After winning the toss Ireland opted to bat first and registered a modest total of 160 riding on the efforts of opener Paul Stirling and later Kevin O’Brien. Stirling led the way initially with a quickfire 39 off 30 balls. A mini collapse happened in Irelands’ innings but well managed by Stirling, O’Brien and Wilson, they scored 39, 40 and 17 respectively. At the end thanks to cameos from Greg Thompson (17 off 14) and Andy McBrine unbeaten (14 off 13) put Ireland in a match winning position. Amjad Javed once again bowled brilliantly and finished his spell with 2 for 16 in four overs.

 

At the halfway stage, UAE would have still thought that their chances against the target but fell away against the pace and bounce of Boyd Rankin. Boyd Rankin had opener Rohan Mustafa LBW off the first ball of the chase and then had two more, in as many deliveries, in his next over getting rid of Ghulam Shabber and Rameez Shahzad. All of sudden UAE had lost half their side with just 21 on board. From that position they couldn’t recover. No doubt their skipper Javed showed some spirit scoring an unbeaten 47, including five sixes, but it was too much to reach the target. Boyd Rankin had three wickets in his account while Mulder finished with two wickets.

Boyd Rankin was awarded as a player of the match on his splendid bowling spell.

 

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In evening match, after winning the toss Hong Kong opted to bat first. Hong Kong got off to a terrific start thanks to opener Nizakat Khan and brought up their fifty in under the first five overs. They finished power play at 66 for 1, which assured them to post a good total. Nizakat Khan put a good show and scored heavily in first 9 overs and eventually found himself out on 59 off 33 balls, but he did his part effectively.

Furthermore it was taken forward by Anshuman Rath and Waqas Khan who put 77-run stand for the fourth wicket as Hong Kong finished with 183. It was enough for Netherlands. Only left-arm spin of Michael Rippon turned out to be the best containing option for Netherlands.  Rippon finished his spell none for 20 in four overs.

Netherlands was to chase a big total, and they were required a better start from their openers. But they find themselves in deep trouble when they’re both got out without troubling the score. Rippon and captain Borren went on zero when Netherlands were only 16 runs in second over on the board. Ben Cooper, coming in at No. 3, tried a counter-attack and was briefly successful but his stint was cut short by Ehsan Khan in the sixth over, leaving Netherlands faltering badly. It went more badly when their middle, lower middle order didn’t perform accordingly. They eventually folded out for 92 in just 15 and half overs giving Hong Kong a big boost in their net run-rate.

Anshuman Rath was awarded as a Player of the match on his superb bowling spell of 3 for 6 in his only 2 overs.

Full Fixture here 

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Hamadullah Sohu is a freelance Cricket blogger. Do follow him on twitter @hsohu