QF2: Hong Kong v Kuwait at Tudhikel

Hong Kong batting against Kuwait

Kuwait edged a gripping encounter against a valiant Hong Kong by just two wickets to advance to the semi-finals.

On a slow, low wicket Hong Kong’s top-order batsmen all played soundly, keeping the ball on the ground and running hard between the wickets. Their openers Robbie Bacon and James Atkinson put together an excellent century partnership until Atkinson was run-out by inches by a direct hit from Ali Shehzad at square-leg.

At one stage it looked like a score of 200 was possible by Hong Kong but Kuwait clawed themselves back in the game to restrict Hong Kong to 179.

180 was always going to be a challenging target, particularly against Hong Kong’s strong bowling attack. Kuwait set about accumulating steadily. The introduction of the hard-hitting SuperSub Mubasser Khalid at the fall of the third wicket really boosted the Kuwait run-rate. Followed by a partnership of 70 between Habibullah Iftikhar and Ali Shehzad in just fourteen overs, this brought Kuwait right back into the game.

A sizeable crowd had gathered at this ground in the centre of Kathmandu and they were treated to a highly competitive encounter. Kuwaiti wickets continued to fall, and at 166 for 8 with fourteen still wanted, Hong Kong were right back in the match. Iftikhar (58*) and Mudassar Saleem held firm however and Kuwait edged home at the start of the 46th over.

Kuwait face Nepal in the semi-final.

Filed November 18 2005