Following the debacles of both the Irish Test and Home Nations ODI tri-series, the boys looked to restore some pride to English cricket when we hosted Hong Kong at Scarborough. Test debuts were presented to teenagers Sam Curran and Mason Crane as well as county veteran Ollie Rayner.
After James Anderson made the early breakthrough, Hong Kong applied themselves well but we checked them with regular wickets. Though Stuart Broad found the going tough, Ollie Rayner tightened things up with back to back maidens to commence his Test career. He soon had his first wicket and went onto claim impressive debut figures of 3-93. However the less said about his batting (4 and 0, both run outs, the latter without facing) the better!
James Anderson struck in consecutive deliveries under lights and Mason Crane was unfortunate to only claim the one wicket on debut as Hong Kong looked to attack the young leg-spinner.
Frustratingly, a recurring theme occurred for us as we let the tail get far too many. Hong Kong’s Haseeb Amjad made 131 batting at number nine before we eventually dismissed the tourists for 498!
Our openers Haseeb Hameed (42) and Keaton Jennings (64) put on 103 for the first wicket but the loss of Jennings started a steady decline. Ben Duckett fell to the very next ball and only an assured 45 from Sam Curran helped lift the score to 268.
Rather embarrassingly we were invited to follow on and soon lost KJ first ball.
He could possibly have reacted quicker and cleared the ball away from his stumps!
Under pressure Duckett, having being dismissed for a golden duck in the first innings, looked comfortable in composing 18 but lasted only two deliveries against spin, missing a sweep and looking back to see his stumps shattered.
With wickets tumbling around him, James Hildreth displayed the value of years of toil on the county circuit. However the right-hander was dismissed the very ball after reaching a maiden Test half-century.
Tail-enders Stuart Broad (38) and James Anderson (38 not out) helped us make the visitors bat again.
After a disappointing match with the bat (0 and 18), Ben Duckett was presented with a surprise opportunity to open the bowling and clearly surprised the Hong Kong batsman as Kinchit Shah fell in single figures for the second time in the match, caught and bowled by the off-spinning all-rounder Duckett!
It was too little too late though as Hong Kong knocked off the mammoth eight runs required for victory to seal a humbling nine-wicket win.
P.S. The Share button on the PS4 controller has come to my attention so I hope to make use of this and possibly YouTube in the future rather than taking photographs of the computer screen!