Asian Games 2010 - Report Day 12: QF3: AFGHANISTAN v HONG KONG


  • Hong Kong won the toss and have chosen to bat
  • Cool, misty morning in Guangzhou, almost like Peshawar in winter, and Leeds in the summer though not as cold, so will suit both sides. There'll be swing for as long as there is cloud cover. Najeeb Amar taking a calculated risk in batting first, but its one which shows confidence in himself (opening) and his team.
  • Having said that, Afghanistan could only have been a little cautious on this new track for them and thus may have spent a valuable few balls getting used to the conditions which Hong Kong have already dealt with twice in their two victories (albeit in afternoon matches). My gut feeling is that Hong Kong, if they wanted to really be aggressive, should have bowled first.
  • Hong Kong's new ball bowlers Irfan Ahmed, Aizaz Khan have bowled very well and Asif Khan and Niaz Ali have also impressed. Their batting hasn't looked as strong and Afghanistan's raring to go fast bowlers - Shahpour Zadran, Hamid Hassan, Mirwais Ashraf (on a diet of red meat and milkshakes as far as I can tell) - can but come at the Hong Kong batsmen hard
  • It really is building up to be a great match
  • Sun is breaking through the clouds and Najeeb (with local knowledge) may have called it perfectly, still, it is in the first few overs that the swing has been evident as the moisture in the air rises. No north-east breeze yet today which reduces the chances of swing throughout the Hong Kong innings
  • Fifteen minutes to go before the start, players being introduced to the crowd. Many of you will no doubt want to get to know the players involved a bit better, a couple of interviews with them follow
    AFGHAN STAR: MOHAMMAD NABI
  • And an interview with the Ahmed brothers who are at the heart of Hong Kong's squad
    HONG KONG'S BROTHERS IN ARMS
  • When either of Nadeem, Irfan or Nabi play particularly well their team invariably wins
  • To all of you who are staying up late or waking up early for this match commentary, welcome, I expect it'll be worth it!
  • Shahpour Zadran LMF to open from the Press Box End, to Najeeb Amar LHB
  • Roy Lamsam and Najeeb Amar hoping to pack a punch in their kitbags as they take on Afghanistan
  • WICKET But it's NAjeeb who goes, run out by Nabi, taking a crazy single to mid-on (at least he was playing straight) and he's out by 18 inches as Nabi underarms and hits the one stump he had to aim at. Hong Kong 0 for 1
  • Jamie Atkinson RHB the new batsman, Shahpour building up great pace already
  • Shahpour's hair even longer than normal! Flaps in the wind behind him as he comes charging in
  • First run on the board for Hong Kong, Roy Lamsam glances down to third man and Hong Kong are 1 for 1 after 1 over
  • It would be an understatement to say that Afghanistan have come to win, this match and a big medal, in Guangzhou
  • Mirwais Ashraf takes the new ball from the Pavilion End - beats Lamsam straight up outside off
  • Mirwais strikes with his third, Roy Lamsam lbw to one that jagged back and would have hit leg, he goes for 1 off 6 and Hong Kong are 1 for 2 after 9 balls
  • Great start by Afghanistan
  • Irfan Ahmed RHB the new bat, off the mark first ball. Looks unhurried already, as opposed to the openers. Lot on these two young men for Hong Kong
  • End of the second over, Hong Kong 2 for 2
  • Shahpour Zadran LMF and his 30-yard hair-flapping run up to continue
  • All you Afghan fans - Lasith Malinga's fans wear Slinga wigs to his matches, maybe you should bring Shhapour wigs to his
  • CHANCE Atkinson flashes at one going across him, the ball travels high and hard to Nawroz MAngal at first slip, two hands to it but can't hold on
  • Waqas Barkat looks calm in the Hong Kong dug-out, everyone else understandably edgy
  • Shahpour keeps troubling Jamie Atkinson outside off
  • Jamie Atkinson and Irfan Ahmed and the rest of the Hong Kong batsmen need to see off this new ball and then things should get a little easier for them
  • Just as well Jamie A's playing and missing, when he does lay bat on ball, he's giving chances
  • Hong Kong 7 for 2 after 3 overs. For once, the home team has more fans than the travelling Afghans, but they are quietened by the ferocity of Afghanistan's assault
  • Mirwais almost halfway down the wicket in his bowling follow-through but it's Irfan Ahmed who wins that one FOUR to him over mid-on
  • Irfan looks in good nick, Hong Kong Kong 12 for 2 after 4 overs
  • Irfan on 8* off 8, Atkinson on 1* off 1
  • WICKET Shahpour strikes and bellows his delight, Irfan out, driving uppishly to point to be caught by Samiullah Shenwari, he's out for 8 off 9
  • Waqas Barkat RHB the new man in and as we've seen as good as you might look, against Afghanistan you can get out anytime, still this young man is an exceptional talent and has already played one good innings this tournament (vs Nepal)
  • WICKET Hong Kong 12 for 4. Waqas good enough to touch a Shahpour snarler which pitches on a length and just seams out the width of a ball to be out for 0 off 3
  • Illyas Gull RHB , a little injured (groin), a little under pressure (understatement), quite talented, tough competitor
  • Survival the name of the game now as Hong Kong must be regretting batting first
  • Hong Kong 12 for 4 off 5 overs
  • Shahpour - lots of pace and a little bit of movement. Mirwais - less pace and more movement = batting not easy
  • Hong Kong have good bowlers too, if their batsmen can somehow get to 80, over the next 15 overs, they'll have a chance
  • The wicket is pacier than anything seen so far at Guanggong, but then Shahpour's pacier than anything we've seen at Hong Kong
  • WICKET Mirwais bowls Illyas - shuffling down the wicket! - and he's out for 1 off 8, Hong Kong 13 for 5 in the sixth
  • Young Nicky Lau RHB, chance to be a hero for Hong Kong. Even double figurews will be an achievement right now
  • Shahpour keeps beating Atkinson outside off. We wonder what will happen when he pitches one on the stumps
  • Shahpour Zadran going over and around the wicket over to over
  • Round the wicket now to the right-handed Jamie Atkinson
  • The crowd, of around 1200, just stunned into silence. The home team is 13 for 5 in the seventh over
  • Mirwais to continue RFM and immediately gets Nicky Lau lbw
  • Hit on the back leg with an in-shooter - tough game this, Hong Kong 15 for 6 after 7.1 overs
  • Nadeem Ahmed - a tonker - in. Will have decided to not play his natural game for a while, though a counter-attack could do wonders for Hong Kong.
  • Afghanistan on top of them like a fog on a swamp
  • Irfan survives one that jags back in and cunning bowler that he is Mirwais then gets one to hold its line and has Nadeem fishing outside off
  • Afghanistan's opening bowlers have done the job for their team, they've taken five and there's been a run-out. Hong Kong 17 for 6 after eight overs
  • Out of the frying pan into the fire.....Hamid Hassan RMF comes on
  • Afghanistan flag headband and double-cheek warpaint
  • Hamid close to maximum pace, Nadeem top-edges a pull but is safe and after nine overs Hong Kong are 20 for 6
  • Some respite, perhaps, for Hong Kong as Gulbudeen Naib RM, making a comeback to the national team, comes on in place of Mirwais at the Pavilion End
  • Ten off the over! Hong Kong 30 for 6 at the half-way stage and finally the crowd come alive for the home team
  • Hamid Hassan getting plenty of zip off the new wicket
  • Hamid is hit for SIX by Jamie Atkinson, waiting on the back foot for that one and goes over midwicket. Top shot! Atkinson 15* off 25, Hong Kong 38 for 6 now. And a good last two overs for them, 18 off them
  • Mohammad Nabi OB on from the Pavilion End
  • WICKET Nabi strikes, Atkinson gives him the charge and is bowled ,he's ou for 16 off 28 with one six, Hoing Kong 41 for 7 in the 12th, just when it was looking relatively good for them
  • New batsman is young Aizaz Khan RHB. Hong Kong 41 for 7 after 12 overs
  • FOUR to Nadeem, streaky off the inside edge, Hamid trying a yorker, but they all count
  • If Hong Kong can somehow get to 80, they'll be in with a shout. They have good bowling of their own
  • Hamid Hassan - always seems to be bowling with injuries - a little stiff today but pacey nevertheless
  • Hong Kongf 47 for 7 and 13 overs
  • WICKET Aizaz out by miles after Nadeem calls him through, after Aizas turned Nabi to short fine leg, he's out for 1 off 6 and Hong Kong 47 for 8 in the 14th
  • Niaz Ali LHB the new batsman
  • Hong Kong 50 for 8 after 14 overs
  • WICKET Niaz Ali flicks blind, behind him to be caught at short fine leg, Nabi gets his second, Hong Kong 55 for 9
  • Hong Kong 56 for 9 after 16 overs, Nadeem Ahmed 16* off 19
  • If. Somehow. Just. Hong Kong can get to 80, we'll have a decent match on our hands
  • It's been all Afghanistan so far this morning
  • Sami Shenwari LB, on from the Press Box End
  • WICKET Mohammad Shahzad, after many an attempt, gets a stumping off Nbo, no doubt says 'cheers, man' as he does so. Nadeem Ahmed out for 17 off 29. And Hong Kong finish on 63, 17.4 overs. Atkinson the only other batter to make an impression. Two each for Shahpour and Mirwais, three for Nabi
  • Hong Kong blown away by a team that looked way better than the Hong Kong batsmen. Hong Kong clueless against pace and spin
  • In a way waht South Africa did to Afghanistan in the West Indies T20 World Cup earlier this year, they did to Hong Kong today. The gulf in playing fast-bowling vast, but Afghanistan learn from their experiences
  • Hong Kong will come out firing. The only way they can win is by taking all 10 wickets
  • Irfan pins Karim on the chest first ball and Karim is not often beaten by pace!
  • Hong Kong and Afghanistan, Irfan Ahmed and Karim Sadiq have played each other all over the world in ACC and ICC tournaments, this is possibly the most potent one yet. Afghanistan now look a really good side and in truth, with the ball, Hong Kong are not far behind
  • Afghanistan 2 for 0 after 1 over
  • KArim Sadiq RHB and Mohammad Shahzad RHB the Afghan openers
  • Aizaz sharing the new ball with Irfan, he comes on at the Pavilion End. A terrrific teenage prospect
  • Afghanistan 3 for 1 after 2 overs - Hong Kong fans must be thinking: 'wouldn't they have been like this if they'd been put in to bat by Najeeb Amar'?
  • Hong Kong bowling well, Irfan and Aizaz kept the Afghans in check - until Karim lashes a short one over long-on for his first SIX, 9 for 0 in the third. Smile on his face as he did so
  • General Zaidi head of the Afghan NOC in the audience, just set up an interview for China Daily with him which means I'll get a lapel pin from him and China Daily which I can pass on to the splendid team of volunteers who've been assisting me in the Guangoong Stadium press box
  • Lapel pins and badges prized here almost as much as runs out in the middle - it's all about medals in China
  • Afghanistan 12 for 0 after 3 overs, needing another 52 to win
  • There are Afghans in Guangzhou and they cheer another Karim boundary, as he moves on to10 and Afgahnistan 18 for 0 in the fourth
  • End of the fourth over and Afghanistan are 20 for 0
  • WICKET Karim, crazy like a fox, top-edges an Irfan delivery which climbed off a length and is caught close in. he goes for 12 off 20 (1 six) and Afghanistan are 22 for 1 after 4.2 overs
  • Mohammad Sami Agha RHB the new bat
  • Irfan bowling as fast as I've ever seen him
  • Irfan beats Sami four balls out of five that over and Afghanistan are 23 for 1 after 5 overs. Afganistan need another 41, Hong Kong need nine wickets
  • Nadeem Ahmed SLA to come on from the Pavilion End in place of Aizaz Khan. His first ball is hit for SIX over long on by Shahzad
  • Top-edges a sweep next ball but a diving Ilyas Gull can't quite reach it at fly slip running backwards
  • Mohammad Sami Agha not looking confortable against pace or spin so far, Hong Kong have a chance with him. End of the sixth over, Afghanistan 30 for 1, Hong Kong were 13 for 5 at this stage of their innings
  • The Ashes have a whole page spread on the back of China's biggest selliing English newspaper China Daily today! Cricket is of appeal in China!
  • Afghanistan just prodding through here, Mohammad Sami on 5 off 15 and Shahzad on 16 off 18, they're 38 for 1 after 8 overs
  • Asif Khan RFM to bowl from the Press Box End
  • Hong Kong's Asif (As opposed to any other country's at the moment) bowls a good overt to Mohammad Shahzad of Afghanistan whose team, after 9 overs are 42 for 1 ,needing another 22.
  • WICKET Mohammad Sami (7 off 19) holes out to cover, Najeeb takes the catch. Nadeem''s first wicket and Afghanistan are 42 for 2 in the 10th.
  • Nawroz Mangal RHB the new Afghan bat (and old Afghan captain)
  • Mohammad shazad 17* off 23, Afghanistan 42 for 2 after 10 overs, WICKET MAIDEN
  • Afghanistan's batting definitely not looking as fluent as their batting even though Nawroz cuts Asif beautifully through backward point to end the 11th over, Afghanistan 48 for 2
  • Nadeem finsihes with 1-13 off his four overs, Afghanistan 51 for 2 after 12 overs
  • Nawroz thumps a SIX five feet my left off Asif and is dropped - saving a six, by Irfan (still not a dwarf) at long-off two balls later, Afghanistan 61 for 2 in the 13th
  • Afghanistan 62 for 2 after 13, need 2 more
  • Nawroz ends it with a lofted FOUR off Najib through mid-on, AFGHANISTAN WIN BY EIGHT WICKETS, 66 for 2 off 13.2 overs
  • They now go through to play Pakistan tomorrow morning. First time for both sides to meet in international cricket. The A Team against the B team?
  • Afghanistan will fancy their chances in the semi-final with the bowling they've got. And of course, add up the number of matches of the squad members, they have played more ODIs than Pakistan. It'll come down to skill and conditioning, mental and physical, pure and simple

Asian Games 2010

QF3: Afghanistan v Hong Kong
AFGHANISTAN WON BY EIGHT WICKETS
Hong Kong won the toss and chose to bat
Hong Kong: 63 off 17.4 overs (S.Zadran 2-9, M.Ashraf 3-8, M.Nabi 2-8)
Afghanistan: 66 for 2 off 13.2 overs
Scorecard

Tournament page

Filed November 24th, 2010