Missed opportunity - Rath ton in vain as HK lose to Dutch by 5 runs

Sports | 17 Feb 2017

Coach Simon Cook was left ruing a missed opportunity as Hong Kong lost by five runs to Holland in an ICC World Cricket League thriller.

After being set a massive target of 331 to win, Hong Kong were 308 for five with 20 balls remaining thanks to Anshuman Rath's maiden century, but a late collapse cost them victory at Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground.

"One that got away, which at the halfway stage we wouldn't have expected, definitely one that we lost," said Cook.

"Some very poor shots and poor thinking under pressure was what it comes down to. We were 250 for two and lost a wicket then we lost two wickets quickly and with new men in it became difficult."

Rath and Babar Hayat put on a 197-run partnership for the third wicket from 190 balls. Rath, 19, made 134 for his first century after several near- misses in the last 18 months, while Hayat was dismissed for 83 off 107 balls.

Their dismissals slowed the chase and the hosts finished on 325 for nine.

Twenty runs were needed from the last three overs with four wickets left, but the Dutch held their nerve to triumph and move to the top of the World Cricket League table.

"Momentum swung both ways through the match," Holland captain Peter Borren said. "We were happy to have 330 but we lost wickets at crucial times. We were in control and probably should have made more than that."

Borren paid tribute to Rath and Babar for batting well, but "Hong Kong gave it to us at the end."

Cook said he was "pleased for Anshuman to get over the line" after scoring in the 80s and 90s in past matches. He was also happy to see Hayat maintain his form after scoring 174 in the four-day fixture.

Ahead of tomorrow's final match of the two-match series, Cook will need to lift his side after an agonizing loss. "The guys are pretty raw at the moment. When you get as close as we did, it hurts a bit more," he said.

Earlier, the Dutch made 330 for seven in their 50 overs with Stephan Myburgh making 88 off 98 balls. Ehsan Khan and Ehsan Nawaz were the pick of the Hong Kong bowlers. Khan took two for 49 and Nawaz two for 62.

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