414-9… which was actually somewhat of an archetypal England collapse having being 226-0 and 276-1. Dawid Malan (163) and Liam Livingstone (121) both hit maiden ODI tons when compiling a monster opening stand of 226. The stand was only ended when Char effected a run out with a direct hit from distance to terminate Livingstone’s knock. Ben Stokes (25) and Moeen Ali (31) both came out with the right attitude but wickets were lost in the quest for quick runs. Stokes, the second wicket to fall, was also the victim of Char’s golden arm. A counter-attacking cameo from Tom Curran (27 not out) lifted us past the big 4 double zero.
Credit to the Hong Kong bowlers who stuck to task and eventually reaped their rewards. Nori (3-92) and Acharya (3-74) went around the park but claimed some big scalps to savour. Poor Ahuja was less fortunate however, finishing with analysis of 10-0-94-0… ouch!
In reply, Hong Kong’s top order all got starts (Karpe 16, Raval 10 and Hayer 17) but lacked intent. Middle order figures Char (34) who required 23 deliveries to get off the mark and Subramaniam (29) kicked on a little but like the top three, took far too long accumulating their runs. Tom Curran (5-19) then entered the fray to take Hong Kong down from 118-4 to 129 all out. The Eastern batsman just couldn’t handle the Surrey man’s full and slow deliveries and were either bowled or nicked behind as Jonny Bairstow feasted yet again. The wicketkeeper bagged four catches as well as a stumping… off Chris Woakes! Liam Dawson claimed 2-23 whilst fellow spinner Moeen Ali (10-2-25-0) cruelly went unrewarded for some high class bowling. The margin of victory… 285 runs!
We sit top of the tree alongside the Netherlands with four wins from four. Next up it’s a trip to Namibia, a team with only one win to their name though batsman Lennox Larson is only four runs behind leading scorer Dawid Malan in the run charts.