Final – Kowloon Cantons vs City Kaitak
The Kowloon Cantons were crowned champions of the second edition of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz after cruising to a 25-run win over City Kaitak.
The Cantons were joint winners in the inaugural edition of the competition last year after heavy rain wiped out the last day, but this year, they gained sole ownership of the coveted trophy.
Cantons captain Babar Hayat would have been delighted with his decision to bat first as he and Dwayne Smith pulverised City Kaitak’s bowling attack with a 149-run partnership in 12.5 overs at a run rate of 11.61.
Both batsmen also surpassed their half-centuries during their epic stand, but as everyone knows, all good things must come to an end eventually, and that is exactly what happened as Hayat was clean bowled by Nadeem Ahmed via an under-edge off his bat for 76, which came off 40 balls and included nine boundaries and four sixes.
Nadeem struck again in his next over as he removed the dangerous Smith for 68 off 43 deliveries, which included four boundaries and five sixes.
As a result of Nadeem’s double strike, City Kaitak began to fight their way back into contention and also curbed the Cantons’ flow of runs.
But, Marlon Samuels and Ashar Zaidi made 32 and 24 not out respectively to guide their side to 222/3 off their 20 overs.
Nadeem was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while captain Aizaz Khan chipped in with one.
Chasing 223 to win, City Kaitak got off to a blistering start as Kyle Coetzer and Tillakaratne Dilshan put together a 65-run partnership.
With the duo looking threatening, Zaidi provided the breakthrough the Cantons needed as he got rid of Dilshan for 23.
Dilshan’s dismissal opened the door for the Cantons and they took full advantage of it as they took wickets at regular intervals, including that of Coetzer, who made 63 off 36 balls, which included one boundary and seven sixes.
Even though Nicholas Pooran made a valiant 28, City Kaitak’s chances of staying alive in the game were dwindling fast.
Nadeem provided some late fireworks as he finished unbeaten on 19, but it all went in vain as Hayat put the final nail in the coffin by dismissing Ryan Buckley for 34, which led to City Kaitak being bowled out for 197.
Once this happened, City Kaitak could do nothing but watch on in utter dejection as the Cantons celebrated winning the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
Zaidi was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Samuels, Yasir Arafat and Tanveer Ahmed snapped up two wickets apiece. Hayat, meanwhile, claimed one.
Hayat was named Man of the Match.
10th Match – Hong Kong Island United vs City Kaitak
In a match where it was all to play for, Hong Kong Island United’s hopes of reaching the final of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz were dashed after they lost to City Kaitak by 50 runs.
With City Kaitak having won, it earned them a spot in the final against the Kowloon Cantons.
Opting to bowl first, Hong Kong Island United were all over City Kaitak as they took wickets at regular intervals, largely due to Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal, to leave their opponents in dire straits at 85/6 in the 11th over.
However, with Chris Jordan smashing a 25-ball 34 and Ryan Buckley adding 20 off 16 deliveries, City Kaitak managed to claw their way to 155 before being bowled out.
Ajmal was easily the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Samuel Badree and Tanwir Afzal snapped up two wickets apiece. Dan Pascoe, meanwhile, chipped in with one.
Chasing 156 to win, Jordan struck early for City Kaitak as he clean bowled Hong Kong Island United opener Jamie Atkinson for five runs.
George Munsey followed shortly after before Ian Bell was on his way back to the pavilion after scoring an entertaining 41 off 19 balls, which included four boundaries and three sixes.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq tried to keep City Kaitak at bay, but carnage ensued at the other end as he lost partner after partner.
With no one providing any support to the current Pakistan Test captain, he ended up being dismissed by City Kaitak captain Aizaz Khan for 27.
Once Misbah was gone, Rayad Emrit speared through the tailenders and Hong Kong Island United proceeded to be bowled out for 105 and saw their campaign come to an end.
Jordan, Emrit and Aizaz took three wickets apiece, while Nadeem Ahmed claimed one.
Jordan was named Man of the Match for his all-round performance.
9th Match – Kowloon Cantons vs Galaxy Gladiators Lantau
Kowloon Cantons captain Babar Hayat thumped a magnificent 62 and took a wicket in his side’s 64-run thrashing of the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau.
As a result of their victory, the Cantons booked their place in the final of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
Opting to bat first, the Cantons made a scorching start to their innings before Dwayne Smith was clean bowled by Karandeep Singh for a 14-ball 38.
Hayat and Marlon Samuels built on the team’s strong start with a 56-run partnership before Samuels was dismissed by Azeem Rafiq for 15.
Hayat ended up making 62 off 36 balls, which included seven boundaries and two sixes, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Gladiators skipper Anshuman Rath.
Calum MacLeod and Ashar Zaidi ensured the Cantons finished their innings on a high as they put together an unbeaten 78-run partnership to lead their side to 220/3 off their 20 overs.
MacLeod scored 62 off 41 balls, which included eight boundaries and a six, while Zaidi remained undefeated on 26 off 15 deliveries, which included three boundaries and a six.
Karandeep, Rafiq and Rath picked up one wicket apiece.
Chasing 221 to win, the Gladiators made a good start to their innings before Rafiq was caught behind off the bowling of Tanveer Ahmed for 12.
Rath managed to make 38, but once he was dismissed, things went downhill for the Gladiators as they lost a flurry of wickets and found themselves in all sorts of trouble at 61/5 in the eighth over.
Even though wickets continued to fall and Mohammad Awais made 51 off 35 balls, which included five boundaries and three sixes, the Gladiators were bowled out for 156.
Smith, Samuels and Mudassar Hussain took two wickets apiece, while Hayat, Tanveer and Zaidi claimed one wicket each.
Hayat was named Man of the Match.
8th Match – Hung Hom JD Jaguars vs City Kaitak
Hung Hom JD Jaguars opener Nizakat Khan clubbed a sparkling 120 not out, but it went in vain as City Kaitak walked away with a five-wicket win.
Choosing to bat first, the Jaguars lost opener Chris Carter for nine runs before Jonathan Foo fell shortly after for 12.
However, Nizakat and James Franklin steadied the ship with a 72-run partnership before Franklin was dismissed by Nadeem Ahmed for 29.
Even though captain Darren Sammy could only muster nine runs, Nizakat continued to take the attack to City Kaitak and proceeded to become the second player to score a century in this year’s Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
In the end, Nizakat finished on 120 off 62 balls, which included eight boundaries and 10 sixes, to guide his side to 193/4 off their 20 overs.
Nadeem was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Rayad Emrit and Chris Jordan chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 194 to win, City Kaitak got off to a great start as Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kyle Coetzer amassed a 51-run partnership before Dilshan was dismissed by Ninad Shah for 29.
Skipper Aizaz Khan failed to have an impact, but it did not matter as Coetzer and Waqas Barkat put together a 52-run partnership before Barkat was removed by Johan Botha for 32.
Coetzer and Nicholas Pooran kept the runs flowing with a 60-run stand before Pooran was on his way back to the pavilion for a 19-ball 48.
Coetzer went on to make 58 off 45 balls, which included four boundaries and three sixes, before he was dismissed by Mohammad Naveed.
Despite Coetzer’s dismissal, City Kaitak managed to mop up the remaining runs and won the match with 17 balls to spare.
Naveed was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Botha, Ninad and Ashley Caddy claimed one wicket each.
Nizakat was named Man of the Match.
7th Match – Hong Kong Island United vs Kowloon Cantons
West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels smashed 51 and took two wickets to lead the Kowloon Cantons to a 44-run win over Hong Kong Island United.
Being put in to bat first, the Cantons got off to a solid start before Hong Kong Island United struck thrice to remove Dwayne Smith, captain Babar Hayat and Calum MacLeod for 22, 21 and five respectively.
Samuels and Ashar Zaidi stabilised the innings with a 90-run partnership, during which Samuels brought up his fifty, before he was brilliantly caught and bowled by Saeed Ajmal for 51 off 36 balls, which included three boundaries and three sixes.
Even though the Cantons collapsed towards the end of their innings, which included the wicket of Zaidi for 46, they still managed to finish on 168/7 off their 20 overs.
Ajmal was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Tanwir Afzal snapped up two and Ehsan Khan chipped in with one.
Chasing 169 to win, Hong Kong Island United got off to a blistering start before their charge was halted when openers George Munsey and Jamie Atkinson were sent packing for 21 and 12 respectively.
Ian Bell put up a valiant fight, but he did not receive enough help from the other batsmen as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.
With the required run rate continuing to climb, Bell had no choice but to up the ante and went on to surpass his half-century in the process.
However, his resistance at the crease was ended when he was caught by Hayat off the bowling of Yasir Arafat for 59 off 50 balls, which included seven boundaries and a six.
Three balls later, Hong Kong Island United were bowled out for 124 when Samuel Badree became Arafat’s second victim of the match.
Arafat, Samuels and Tanveer Ahmed took two wickets apiece, while Zaidi, Smith and Hayat claimed one wicket each.
Samuels was named Man of the Match.
6th Match – Hung Hom JD Jaguars vs Kowloon Cantons
A superb all-round performance by Johan Botha saw the Hung Hom JD Jaguars defeat the Kowloon Cantons by 18 runs.
Electing to field first, the Cantons were all over the Jaguars early on and reduced them to 49/4 in the eighth over.
Botha and Jonathan Foo stemmed the flow of wickets with an 80-run partnership before Foo was dismissed by Dwayne Smith for 34.
The Jaguars began to lose wickets at regular intervals after Foo’s dismissal, including that of Botha. However, the former South Africa international’s 37-ball 65, which included eight boundaries and two sixes, led his side to 164/9 off their 20 overs.
Yasir Arafat was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Ashar Zaidi snapped up two and Smith, Ehsan Nawaz and Tanveer Ahmed chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 165 to win, the Cantons were dealt two big blows as Smith and captain Babar Hayat were removed by Ninad Shah for 10 and 19 respectively.
Calum MacLeod and Marlon Samuels steadied the innings with a 55-run partnership before Botha provided the breakthrough as he sent Samuels packing for 22.
MacLeod went on to make 45 before falling to James Franklin. Once the Scotland international was gone, the Cantons collapsed and lost the game as they could only muster 146/7 off their 20 overs.
Franklin was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Ninad took two and Botha and Mohammad Naveed claimed one wicket each.
Botha was named Man of the Match.
5th Match – Hong Kong Island United vs Galaxy Gladiators Lantau
Kumar Sangakkara smashed an unbeaten 70 and captain Anshuman Rath hammered an unbeaten 53 as the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau beat Hong Kong Island United by eight wickets.
The win was a much-needed one for the franchise as prior to this, they had lost to the Hung Hom JD Jaguars and City Kaitak.
Choosing to bowl first, Hong Kong Island United struggled from the get-go as they lost early wickets.
With captain Misbah-ul-Haq leading by example once again, he received some help from Dan Pascoe, who made 23, but no one else really giving him much support, Hong Kong Island United ended up finishing on 177/7 off their 20 overs.
Misbah fought valiantly right to the end of the innings, making 84 off 50 balls, which included five boundaries and six sixes.
Azeem Rafiq and Assad Vala picked up two wickets apiece, while Ryan ten Doeschate and Jesse Ryder chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing 178 to win, the Gladiators were dealt an early blow after Rafiq was sent packing on the fifth ball of the innings for just six runs.
However, Rath and Ryder made up for it with a 56-run partnership before Ryder was stumped by Rory Caines off the bowling of Samuel Badree for 41.
Ryder’s wicket was to be the last taste of success for Hong Kong Island United as Rath and Sangakkara finished things off with an unbeaten 111-run stand, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries.
Sangakkara concluded the match on 70 off 42 balls, which included seven boundaries and three sixes, while Rath remained undefeated on 53 off 47 deliveries, which included six boundaries.
Badree and Tanwir Afzal took one wicket apiece.
Sangakkara was named Man of the Match.
4th Match – City Kaitak vs Galaxy Gladiators Lantau
England pace bowler Chris Jordan helped City Kaitak bounce back from their loss to the Kowloon Cantons by taking a three-wicket haul in his side’s six-wicket win over the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau.
Opting to bat first, the Gladiators lost Jesse Ryder early on before captain Anshuman Rath, who had been the aggressor from the get-go, fell for a 29-ball 42.
With the middle and lower order offering little resistance, largely thanks to Jordan, the Gladiators found it difficult to keep the scoreboard ticking at a good pace.
Courtney Kruger provided some late fireworks with a quickfire 32 as his side finished on 155/9 off their 20 overs.
Jordan was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Rayad Emrit took two and Tillakaratne Dilshan, Ryan Buckley, Nadeem Ahmed and captain Aizaz Khan chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 156 to win, City Kaitak got off to a blistering start courtesy of Scotland’s Kyle Coetzer, but his time at the crease came to an end when he was dismissed by Ryan ten Doeschate for 27.
Dilshan, who opened the batting with Coetzer, began to find his groove as the match progressed, but just as he was getting settled, he was clean bowled by Rath for 38.
Wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran only made 12, while Aizaz made a 28-ball 36 before Gareth Harte and Jordan mopped up the remaining runs to lead City Kaitak to victory with 28 balls to spare.
Rath was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Ten Doeschate and Assad Vala claimed one wicket each.
Jordan was named Man of the Match.
3rd Match – Hong Kong Island United vs Hung Hom JD Jaguars
Hong Kong Island United began their Hong Kong T20 Blitz campaign in style as captain Misbah-ul-Haq blasted an unbeaten 82 to lead the team to a 33-run win over the Hung Hom JD Jaguars.
Opting to bowl first, the Jaguars struck early on as their United Arab Emirates import Mohammad Naveed trapped Ian Bell lbw for five runs.
George Munsey could only muster 17, while Ehsan Khan made 23 before Misbah and Munir Dar took over with a 68-run partnership.
Munir eventually fell for a 23-ball 42, but Tanwir Afzal upped the scoring rate with a quickfire 20.
Even though Samuel Badree was on his way back to the pavilion shortly after, Misbah maintained a cool composure and launched a vicious assault against the Jaguars’ bowling attack.
In fact, the last seven balls Misbah faced prior to the end of the innings went for 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 4. As a result, the Hong Kong Island United skipper, who showed that age is just a number, finished on 82 off 37 balls, which included four boundaries and seven sixes.
Thanks to Misbah’s heroics towards the end of the innings, Hong Kong Island United made 216/6 off their 20 overs.
Naveed and Ashley Caddy picked up two wickets apiece, while Johan Botha and James Franklin chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing 217 to win, Jaguars captain Kinchit Shah was run out off the fifth ball of the match for a diamond duck.
Wicketkeeper Chris Carter was the next to go as he was clean bowled by Badree. As for Nizakhat Khan, he was sent packing by Dan Pascoe for 34.
Despite losing their top order, Jonathan Foo and James Franklin kept the Jaguars in the hunt as they put together a 62-run partnership before Franklin was stumped by Rory Caines off the bowling of Saeed Ajmal for 27.
Darren Sammy failed to replicate his fireworks against the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau as he was the victim of a sensational catch by Devang Bulsara.
Botha followed soon after, while Foo went on to make 77 off 47 deliveries, which included four boundaries and six sixes, before he was dismissed by Badree.
With Kyle Christie taking out Naveed in the final over, Hong Kong Island United celebrated their comfortable win as the Jaguars finished on 183/8 off their 20 overs.
Ajmal, Badree and Christie took two wickets apiece, while Pascoe claimed one.
Misbah was named Man of the Match.
2nd Match – City Kaitak vs Kowloon Cantons
Dwayne Smith announced his arrival at the Hong Kong T20 Blitz in style as he hammered an unbeaten 121 to lead the Kowloon Cantons to an easy eight-wicket win over City Kaitak in a high-scoring affair.
Kaitak, who are one of the new franchises to feature in the tournament this year, were put in to bat first and lost opener Tillakaratne Dilshan on the fourth ball of the match.
Even though Aizaz Khan, Nicholas Pooran and Gareth Harte failed to have much of an impact, that all changed once Scotland’s Kyle Coetzer and England’s Chris Jordan got going.
The duo amassed a magnificent 125-run partnership, during which both batsmen recorded their half-centuries, before Coetzer’s resistance was ended by Tanveer Ahmed on 87, which came off 57 balls and included five boundaries and six sixes.
Rayad Emrit was run out for a golden duck the very next ball, but Jordan’s unbeaten knock of 75, which came off 37 deliveries and included three boundaries and six sixes, led to Kaitak posting a total of 199/6 off their 20 overs.
Yasir Arafat was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Tanveer, Ashar Zaidi and Ehsan Nawaz took one wicket apiece.
Chasing 200 to win, Cantons captain Babar Hayat was the first to go as he was removed by Emrit for just 10 runs.
To make things worse, Calum MacLeod was clean bowled by Jordan not long after.
But, that was to be Kaitak’s last taste of success for the remainder of the match as Smith and his West Indian compatriot Marlon Samuels took over and stole the show.
The pair accumulated an unbeaten 142-run partnership off just 9.4 overs at an eye-popping run-rate of 14.68 to lead the Cantons to victory with 33 balls to spare.
Smith ended the match on 121 off 40 balls, which included seven boundaries and 13 sixes, while Samuels remained undefeated on 59 off 33 deliveries, which included seven boundaries and three sixes.
Emrit and Jordan claimed one wicket each.
Smith was named Man of the Match.
1st Match – Hung Hom JD Jaguars vs Galaxy Gladiators Lantau
Quickfire half-centuries from West Indian import Darren Sammy and New Zealand’s James Franklin saw the Hung Hom JD Jaguars take down the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau by 27 runs.
With the start of the match at Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground, otherwise known as Mission Road, having been delayed due to heavy rain, the game was ultimately reduced to 11 overs per side.
Opting to bowl first, the Gladiators only needed five balls to claim their first wicket as Azeem Rafiq dismissed Nizakhat Khan caught and bowled for two runs.
Captain Kinchit Shah looked good initially before being clean bowled by Rafiq for 18, while Jonathan Foo failed to shine as he was on his way back to the pavilion for just six runs.
But, with Sammy and Franklin at the crease, the tide turned in favour of the Jaguars as the duo put together an unbeaten 102-run partnership in just six overs, during which both batsmen surpassed their fifties, with Sammy’s coming off a last-ball six.
Sammy finished on 52 off 19 balls, which included two boundaries and six sixes, while Franklin was unbeaten on 58 off 27 deliveries, which included four boundaries and five sixes, as the Jaguars made 145/3 off their 11 overs.
Rafiq was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Papua New Guinea’s Assad Vala chipped in with one.
Chasing 146 to win, captain Anshuman Rath led the charge for the Gladiators with a number of superb shots, including an absolutely sensational switch-hit six.
However, with none of his team-mates offering him much support due to some brilliant bowling from Imran Arif, the asking rate continued to get higher and higher.
Rath eventually fell for 45, which came off 26 balls and included five boundaries and two sixes, and from thereon, it was the Jaguars all the way.
Their victory was capped off by a sublime hat-trick in the final over of the match from left-arm seamer Ashley Caddy, who removed Rafiq, Courtney Kruger and Mohammad Awais in successive deliveries.
Arif and Caddy took three wickets apiece, while Johan Botha claimed one.
Sammy was named Man of the Match.