08 Feb 2018

Coetzer century lights up the Blitz


Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer hit his maiden century in the Twenty20 format as City Kaitak bounced back from their day one defeat to beat Hong Kong Island United by 26 runs in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz, presented by KPMG, at Mission Road.
 
In the second match of day two, defending champions Kowloon Cantons got their title defence off to a winning start with a 31-run victory over Galaxy Gladiators Lantau.
 
Coetzer hit 100 off 65 balls, with three sixes and 14 fours as his team piled up an imposing score of 195 for four off their 20 overs. 

England’s Ravi Bopara contributed an unbeaten 48 from 30 balls and Hong Kong’s Anshuman Rath hit 35 as Kaitak made up for their tentative batting performance in their defeat by Hung Hom JD Jaguars on Tuesday.
 
“I’m very proud to score a century,” said Coetzer, who had a high score of 87 in the 2017 Blitz but was unable to reach his century. 

“I was on 99 for a while and missed five or six balls, but I was really happy that I could make my first T20 century in Hong Kong.”
 
Dutchman Ryan ten Doeschate was United’s most successful bowler with three wickets for 42 runs. United’s giant Pakistani ace Mohammad Irfan gave away 34 runs in his four overs.
 
City Kaitak needed the victory because defeat would have left them with two losses in their first two matches and a slim chance of making it to the final. 

Last year’s runners-up are now back in the competition and looking forward to their final two games.
 
“We are just taking it one match at a time. We are happy with our score and the way we bowled and we are confident we have the players to do the job,” said Rath.
 
Cantons put on an excellent bowling performance to restrict Gladiators in their run chase. The defending champions scored 158 in their innings, losing their 10th wicket on the final ball. With last year’s century-maker Dwayne Smith managing only 10 and captain Babar Hayat scoring 17, the Cantons struggled to make runs.

New Zealand’s James Franklin was the pick of the bowlers, taking three wickets for 21 runs, with Arshad Mohammad and Imran Arif grabbing two each as Cantons looked to be at least 20 runs too short.
 
Galaxy, after all, had the likes of Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara in their batting line-up. But Cantons had Pakistani ace Wahab Riaz as their spearhead bowler. 
 
Cameron Delport was out first ball of their innings and Galaxy never truly recovered. Sangakkara departed for 14 with only New Zealand’s Anton Devcich (26) and Munir Dar (28) collecting more than 20 runs. Galaxy were all out for 127 runs in 19 overs with Riaz conceding a measly 14 runs in his four overs for four wickets.
 
“We need to improve our batting but we were always confident with our bowlers that we would defend that total,” said Cantons skipper Hayat. 

“It was good to get an opening win and now we’re looking forward to our next matches.”

Sangakkara said Galaxy had every chance to win the match:  
“I think their total was about 20 runs below par but the match was ours to win but we didn’t bat very well,” said Sangakkara, a former T20 World Cup winner with Sri Lanka.
 
Cantons return to Mission Road on Thursday for their second match on day three of the competition when they take on Hung Hom JD Jaguars in the morning match, starting at 10am. 

The afternoon game at 2pm sees Hong Kong Island United playing Galaxy Gladiators Lantau, with both teams looking for their first victory.
 
Tickets for all weekday action at the Hong Kong T20 Blitz, presented by KPMG, are available for just 20$ daily for adults and free for youth aged 15 and under.   

Tickets may be purchased via ticketflap or on the door at Mission Road (Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground).