CHINA WIN ON DEBUT

ACC U-15 Challenge Cup 2006

China's captain Zhang Yufei leads his team off the field

The cricketers of China, playing their first official representative game, made an emphatic declaration of their ability with a 47-run win over Myanmar.

Put into bat on an excellent surface, the benefits of coaching were evident from the outset as the top-order all played straight – until they got out. Zhan Jinhui played round a full-delivery to see his off-stump pushed back and Yang Haiming chasing a wide-ball flat footed only managed to miscue to cover where Phonethat took a good catch over his left-shoulder.

Myanmar celebrate a Chinese wicket

 

China's first opening pair, Zhan Jinhui and Yang Haiming casting a long shadow

Inexperience and naivete played their part too as China's captain Zhang Yufei was run–out for just 1 by his batting partner, Li Pengfei and with Du Jinlong ('Mountain Man') having earlier fallen to a brilliant slip catch for 0, at 27 for 4 China were in trouble.

 

But Myanmar kept letting them off the hook. Wides flowed freely and as keen as the fielding was, China were always making runs. The middle order played some swats, showing the baseballing origins of the boys from Shenzhen. At 82 for 6 and eyeing a score of 100, two wickets fell in the 23rd over bowled by Bhutan's impressive left-arm paceman Saw Phonethet. Xu Jiabin (having just become the first Chinese batsmen to hit a boundary) saw his off-bail clipped by one that fizzed off the pitch, falling for 9 and then Zhao Xu fell for 13, three balls later.

Lu Zejie drives

82 for 8 became 93 for 9 and with Myanmar celebrating each wicket with great enthusiasm, another quick wicket would have given them all the momentum. However a last-wicket stand of 32, aided by 10 wides and including the shot of the day – an on-drive for 4 by Lu Zejie – dampened Myanmar's spirits and China, having been down for so long, passing 100, then 120, were on an absolute high when they took the field.

China take their first wicket

Lu Zejie took a wicket in the first over, and looked dangerous whenever he pitched it up. China's own wides helped Myanmar along and though the batsmen showed determination and sound technique, once China's bowlers sorted their act out after the lunch break, Myanmar were simply steam-rollered. Zhang Yufei took a terrific reflex catch at gully to get rid of Kyaw Min Hung and then two more wickets fell for just two runs to leave Myanmar at 25 for 4.

It was a situation from which China were able to extricate themselves, but now with superior bowling and fielders who swarmed over anything the batsmen hit, Myanmar had no escape. China's captain Zhang Yufei took a wicket with his first ball and with a touch of Andrew Flintoff about him, dominated the opposition. Fielders stood within the circle throughout and rarely had to chase the ball. Having learnt from Hong Kong on how to appeal for everything, China's fielders kept up the vocal pressure on Myanmar's batsmen.

Myat Min Hein showed some resistance hitting two cracking boundaries but wickets continued to fall around him and once he was out, China knew they had the game won.

Chen Xieudong of China for his 5-11 and last-wicket contribution was Man of the Match.

ACC U-15 Challenge Cup 2006
China v Myanmar at Royal Bangkok Sports Club Polo Grounds
Myanmar won the toss and elected to field
CHINA WON BY 47 RUNS
China: 125 off 33.2 overs (M. Heinkhant 3-30)
Myanmar: 78 off 28.5 overs (C. Xiudong 5-11)
Man of the Match: Chen Xiudong (China)

Filed December 14 2006