Hong Kong register first win as Jersey fluff their lines
Hong Kong 144 for 7 (Nizakat 48, McKechnie 40*, Ward 3-19, Stevens 2-26) beat Jersey 136 for 6 (Stevens 39, Bisson 30*, Ehsan 2-18, Shah 2-31) by eight runs
Jersey blew a great chance to keep pace with Oman and Canada at the top of Group B, letting Hong Kong recover from 81 for 6 to make 144, which wound up being just out of reach for them as Hong Kong kept their playoff hopes alive with an eight-run win at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday night. Nizakat Khan top-scored for Hong Kong with 48 opening the innings, after being dropped first ball, a moment that Jersey might be forced to rue by the end of the tournament.
Nizakat took on Harrison Carlyon's offspin first ball and skied a slog to long-on where Jonty Jenner spilled a regulation chance three yards inside the rope. Nizakat made sure Jenner didn't forget it, sweeping and cutting the next two balls for fours before lofting over Jenner's head for six more in a 17-run opening over. He was two short of a half-century in the tenth over when he fell trying to swat Ben Ward's legspin over midwicket and instead produced a leading edge to extra cover.
Ward then made further inroads two overs later with a double-wicket maiden to put Hong Kong under heavy pressure - Kinchit Shah slog swept to deep midwicket before Simandeep Singh was bowled by a googly to make it 81 for 6.
But Jersey let Hong Kong off the hook as Scott McKechnie and Waqas Barkat calmly added 61 across 8.2 overs to give Hong Kong a fighting chance. McKechnie stuck to orthodox strokes until the final few overs, when he started getting creative with his use of the crease to shuffle and scoop. The stand ended on the penultimate ball of the innings when Barkat scooped Ben Stevens' left-arm spin to short fine-leg. McKechnie took two off the final ball to finish unbeaten on 40 off 33 balls.
Shah struck a pair of early blows in the second over of the chase to peg Jersey back. Nick Ferraby fell to a reverse sweep that picked out short third-man before Carlyon yorked himself charging the vice-captain's offspin to make it 15 for 2 in two overs.
Hong Kong's fielding effort was littered with errors throughout the chase and yet Jersey failed to maximise the extra opportunities they were given. Jenner survived a chance at deep square-leg on 17 off Shah when Aarush Bhagwat misjudged a simple chance and came in too far only for the ball to land behind him and go for four. Jenner only added six more runs, though, before he was bowled missing a slog off Aizaz Khan.
Stevens was dropped on 17 and 32, but eventually fell after swinging over a thigh-high full toss from Ehsan Khan in the 13th. Ehsan made it two in two when Ward played around a straight ball. From cruising at 86 for 3, Jersey were now stumbling at 86 for 5.
Needing 59 off 42, Jersey tried but just couldn't find the boundary. Corey Bisson's four in the 15th off Haroon Arshad and a full toss heaved by Bisson over long-on off Kyle Christie in the 17th were the last times the ball cleared the rope. And with 29 off 18 balls, Jersey could only manage singles and twos. Nick Greenwood was spilled by Arshad at long-off but fell three balls later thanks to a sharp diving catch by Nizakat at long-on. With 15 needed off the final over, Aizaz conceded just five runs across the first five balls to clinch victory in a rare final-over thriller in Group B. It was Hong Kong's first win after three losses.