Friday 23 March 2018

Tim Murtagh does the damage as Ireland wrap up win over Hong Kong

Tim Murtagh, right, took four wickets as Ireland secured victory
Tim Murtagh, right, took four wickets as Ireland secured victory

Tim Murtagh took four wickets as Ireland completed a 70-run win over Hong Kong in Belfast.

Ireland set their opponents 310 to win on the final day of their ICC Intercontinental Cup clash and the tourists fell short, despite Nizakat Khan's 123.

Murtagh removed both Hong Kong's openers and rounded off the victory by finally ousting Nizakat, who was dropped three times, the first when he had scored just six.

Ireland's win maintained their 100 per cent record in the competition and gave them a 19-point lead over second-placed Afghanistan, who are their next opponents in March.

The hosts added 31 runs as their last four wickets fell in the first 4.3 overs during the morning session on day four, with Kevin O'Brien left unbeaten on 16.

Hong Kong were soon up against it as Murtagh removed Aizaz Khan for a duck with the final ball of the first over before also accounting for Ninad Shahm, both edging behind to Niall O'Brien.

Nizakat made the most of his reprieves, but regularly lost partners as Ireland's bowling attack shared the wickets around to leave their opponents 147 for seven.

Ehsan Khan hung around for 42 deliveries, only scoring six but giving Nizakat the platform to chip away at the deficit, which stood at 132 when John Anderson eventually ousted Ehsan.

But Nizakat was not budging and put on 61 for the ninth wicket with Nadeem Ahmed. Peter Chase, though, made the all-important breakthrough, having Nadeem trapped lbw.

Left with only number 11 Tanveer Ahmed for support - and facing the new ball - Nizakat went on the attack, but he could only sky Murtagh's second delivery to Ed Joyce at mid off.

Press Association

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