England have to settle for plate place
England will play the Netherlands in tomorrow’s Hong Kong Sixes plate semi-finals after losing two of their three games on the first day of two at Kowloon Cricket Club.
Josh Cobb’s side began by beating Australia but lost to Hong Kong and, needing victory in the last Pool A game, were defeated by South Africa.
The Proteas therefore progressed, along with the hosts, to tomorrow’s group of four which will yield the finalists. They were joined by Sri Lanka and defending champions Pakistan. If England beat the Netherlands, they will face Australia or India in the plate final.
England restricted Australia to 86 for four from their five overs, captain Brad Hodge top-scoring with 36 not out. Chris Nash and Tom Smith, who like Cobb have played in the competition before, laid the foundations of the chase before retiring out on 36 and 32 respectively. Ross Whiteley and Cobb then sealed victory with eight balls unused.
England’s bowling was likewise impressive in limiting Hong Kong to 78 for five, their skipper James Atkinson leading the way with 31. Smith, who stood out with 2-10 from his over, and Nash again made a strong start with the bat, the latter retiring out on 31, but the hosts used local knowledge to defend their total by seven runs.
England versus South Africa was winner takes all in terms of staying in the competition proper and the the Proteas posted a competitive 113 for one on the back of unbeaten thirties from David Miller, Robert Frylinck and Dillon du Preez.
Wayne Parnell bowled Smith first ball but Nash hit 18 and Whiteley 22 before Cobb took control and retired out on 32. Although Ben Brown was unbeaten on 16, England were left 12 short of victory.