The first match of the ICC World T20 2016 got away in Nagpur, between Zimbabwe and Hong Kong. It was a rather thrilling match with both sides not quite performing at their best. Zimbabwe got past the line but will know they could have easily lost it had it not been for Hong Kong who just did not finish their bowling well. Hong Kong may have lost but have a lot of positives to take from the game ahead.
1. The ground fielding: Zimbabwe had started a bit cautiously and were just starting to get going with Hamilton Masakadza getting the boundaries in but a smart piece of fielding and a lazy effort from the batsman saw Babar Hayat hit the stumps. Babar had three run outs to his name and there were numerous fielding efforts which were heartening to see.
2. Skipper leads from the front: Just like Hamilton did start the proceedings for Zimbabwe, his counterpart in Tanwir Afzal did the same for Hong Kong. He bowled himself out and finished with figures of 4-0-19-2! It took two vital wickets of Richmond Mutumbami and Sean Williams. With the bat as well, he came good with his side under pressure. He hit a 17-ball 31 but would have wished for more support from the other end as they lost the game by 14 runs.
3. Atkinson’s anchor: Chasing a score of 159 always meat Hong Kong needed a good start on a slowish deck. Atkinson took his time as he saw Ryan Campbell struggling at the other time. He held his aggression back and ensured he batted deep. Yes, he got a few lives, one when he almost slog swept one to the fielder in the deep and when the keeper missed his stumping. He also took back seat when Mark Chapman was hitting boundaries showing he had a sense of knowing when to hit the acceleration button and when to sit back. He fell towards the end, trying to get the big shots in but a knock of 53 in 44 balls showed Hong Kong believed they could win it and that was the right way to go.