27 Oct 2018

Hong Kong win the 2018 West Pacific Cup!

A fantastic tournament was brought to an exciting conclusion - Hong Kong winning the Finals of the West Pacific Cup by just 7 runs in a nail-biting finish!

After electing to bat first, HK posted up 158/8 in their 20 overs. This was a marked improvement over their earlier batting efforts - having struggled to cross 120 in their two group-stage games against PNG. The innings was built around skipper Aizaz Khan's brilliant 72 off just 38 balls (7 fours, 5 sixes). Opening the batting once again, he hit the ball hard and hit it long, losing several of them in the process. He was looking good to score the first century of the tournament when he was dismissed in the 12th over, runout by a smart piece of wicketkeeping from Kipling Doriga. With the score at 105/4, HK could only manage another 53 runs from the final 8, as PNG clawed their way back into the game. Waqas Khan continued his excellent form, hitting 38 from 35 balls (4 fours, 1 six), but Chad Soper (4-0-17-2) bowled beautifully at the end of the innings to keep HK to below 160. Spinners Jason Kila (4-0-24-2) and Charles Amini Jnr (4-1-18-1) bowled excellently again, and PNG would have felt confident going into the second innings.

Tony Ura and Anthony Vare got PNG off to a quick start, as usual, but the brothers Tanveer Ahmed and Ehsan Nawaz dismissed them both in the space of 4 balls, reducing the visitors to 19/2 in 2.3 overs. Skipper Asad Vala was joined by Kipling Doriga at the crease, and what followed was a fascinating period of play. The two PNG batsmen batted superbly -rotating the strike and hitting the odd boundary- but the HK bowlers stuck at their task, accumulating dot balls and bowling to their fields. The match grew tighter and tighter each passing over, as both Vala and Doriga crossed 50. At the start of the 18th over, PNG needed 33 runs to win from the final 3 overs with 8 wickets in hand.

That's when Ehsan Nawaz struck - dismissing both set batsmen in an over that went for just 5 runs, swinging the balance heavily into HK's favour. Tanveer Ahmed then followed that up by conceding just 5 runs in the 19th, and at the start of the final over PNG needed 20 runs to win. There were some nervy moments when Norman Vanua swung Waqas for a huge six second ball to reduce the equation to 13 from 4 balls, but Waqas hit the stumps the very next ball, and a single and a dot from the next two deliveries all but sealed the game for the hosts. Sese Bau swung the last ball away to the fence for four, but it was too little too late, and HK emerged as champions of the 2018 West Pacific Cup!

Full scorecard for this game, and the whole tournament, can be found at CricHQ. You can also find footage of all the matches on our Facebook and YouTube pages.

Thank you all for following the tournament. We hope you enjoyed our coverage today, and we do hope you join us again tomorrow, for the first game of the South China Cup! Hong Kong taking on PNG in the first of three 50 over games here at Mission Road! All games will be streamed live on our social media platforms, and attendance to all games is free of charge!

Ga Yau Hong Kong!