05 Feb 2018

Day one: Hong Kong T20 Blitz preview


By Jonathan Stott

Match 1 – City Kaitak v Hung Hom JD Jaguars

Tuesday 6th February, 2pm

Overview

Last year’s runners-up Kaitak will be looking to go one better this time around, and both franchises will be hoping to make a fast start as they kick proceedings off on Tuesday. 

Kaitak look to have a well-balanced squad, with Kyle Coetzer likely to be at the top of the order again this year.  They also possibly have the strongest bowling line-up in the tournament with Samuel Badree, Sohail Tanvir and Ravi Bopara all set to join up with the returning Rayad Emirt as part of an experienced pace-off bowling attack. 

The Hung Hom bowling attack is hardly a poor relation, led as it is by Big Bash league winner Ben Laughlin, West Indian superstar Darren Sammy and South African T20 specialist Johan Botha.  Both Sammy and Botha are returning for their second year with the Jaguars, and their past experience may prove invaluable.  Big hitting Riki Wessels is sure to be a great addition, adding significant hitting power to the Jaguars line-up – both he and Sammy have career strike-rates of around 140, and they’ve smashed almost 350 sixes in their combined T20 careers! 

Last year’s result

City Kaitak won by 5 wickets (with 17 balls remaining).

Hung Hom posted an imposing score of 193/4, led by a career-best 120 off 62 balls for Nizakat Khan, including 10 sixes.   However, Kaitak weren’t to be outdone as Kyle Coetzer, Waqas Barat and Nicholas Pooran led the charge, reeling the Hung Hom total in with 17 balls remaining.

Key match-ups

Wessels is likely to open for the Jaguars and the key to the contest may well be whether he’s able to get on top of the Badree’s bowling during the power-play. 

Local stars on show

Nizakat Khan will be looking to fire again for the Jaguars, after some outstanding exploits last year.  Young Hong Kong opener Anshy Rath will also be looking to make his name known, to show he has the ability to feature in future editions of the IPL or BBL.

What the players say

Riki Wessels, Jaguars: “First time in Hong Kong for me so I’m really looking forward to it.  It's always nice to play T20 cricket and playing somewhere I've never played before is always an attraction for me. I think when a tournament is this short and intense you just have to deliver your skills the best you can and better than the opposition.  I grew up in South Africa around Johan Botha when I was younger and played against him in the Big bash. So will be great to actually play in the same team”.

Rayad Emrit, Kaitak: “I enjoyed every minute of last year’s tournament and City Kaitak is like family now so I didn’t think twice about going back.  Darren Sammy and Riki Wessels are both very good T20 players and should be a handful.  But I think the bowling we have this year it’s certainly one of the best line ups in the tournament. The likes of Badree, Tanvir, Bopara and certainly the local guys have a lot of talent as well and together with myself I’m hoping we can go one step further this year”.

Squads

City Kaitak 

Overseas: Rayad Emrit (WI), Samuel Badree (WI), Sohail Tanvir (Pak), Ravi Bopara (Eng), Kyle Coetzer (Sco)
Domestic Players:  Anshuman Rath, Aizaz Khan, Waqas Barkat, Jamie Atkinson, Manjinder Singh, Ishtiaq Muhammad, Umar Mohammad, Raag Kapur, Mudassar Hussain, Siegfried Wai, Kalhan Marc Challu

Hung Hom Jaguars 

Overseas players: Darren Sammy (WI), Ben Laughlin (Aus), Riki Wessels (Eng), Johan Botha (RSA/Sydney Sixers), Roelof van der Merwe (Ned)
Domestic Players: Kinchit Shah (c), Nizakat Khan, Tanveer Ahmed, Adil Mehmood, Kyle Christie, Ninad Deveng Shah, Nadeem Ahmed, Scott Mckechnie, Damien Yee, Aarush Bhagwat, Rana Nasrulla