HONG KONG: Pakistan, led by Shoaib Malik, on Saturday swept to a 22-run victory over arch-rivals India in preliminary round match on opening day of US$150,000 Hong Kong Cricket Sixes tournament.
Pakistan grabbed early high ground after rain forced organisers into making huge changes to the format of popular tournament at the Kowloon Cricket Club on Saturday which saw more than three-quarters of the programme cancelled due to rain.
“It’s always good to start with a win,” said Pakistan skipper Malik. “For a first game, it was a good performance from the guys and I’m pretty pleased.”
Poor weather resulted in a switch to four overs per innings from five and with organisers keeping options open if winners of each group meet in Cup final on Sunday or if top two teams move into a cross-over semi-finals.
All eight teams got a run on first day with Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and South Africa joining Pakistan as winners.
Sri Lanka knocked off 77 runs needed for victory over New Zealand.
Hosts Hong Kong hammered England. Chasing 61, Hong Kong romped home to five-wicket win.
South Africa chased down Australia’s 73-run total for loss of three wickets, scrambling through for a single on final ball of match to earn win.
“If rain stays away, we will play remaining eight pool games on Sunday, with top two going into Cup semi- finals. But if there are any more interruptions, we have to go straight into Cup final with winners of each pool progressing,” said tournament director Adam Davies.—Agencies