10 Feb 2018

Kumar Sangakkara and Darren Sammy to star in T20 Blitz finale as Galaxy Gladiators Lantau and Hung Hom JD Jaguars reach final

Galaxy Gladiators Lantau and Hung Hom JD Jaguars will meet in the final of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz, presented by KPMG, after they won their final pool games on Saturday at Mission Road (Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground).


Gladiators defeated last year’s runners-up City Kaitak by five wickets while Jaguars beat Hong Kong Island United by 57 runs on Saturday, with both teams compiling records of three victories against one loss.


Sunday’s final (2.00pm) is a repeat of the best pool game of the tournament so far when Gladiators edged Jaguars by six runs after setting a tournament record of 228 in their 20 overs.


Gladiators’ Hong Kong player Dan Pascoe, who celebrates his wickets with a “gunman” pose from his love of Gangsta Rap, took man of the match honours after captain Kumar Sangakkara -- who scored an unbeaten 94 -- gifted him the award.


Pascoe took two wickets for 25 runs in his four overs, restricting Kaitak to 136 all out in 18.1 overs before Sangakkara led Gladiators to 139 for five in 18.2 overs.


Sangakkara was initially chosen as man of the match but said Pascoe - a law lecturer at Hong Kong’s City University - deserved it more.


“I’d like to thank Kumar Sangakkara. It’s not often a guy scores 94 not out in a score of 139 and someone else wins man of the match,” said Pascoe, who was a late recruit to the Gladiators team after initially missing out on selection.


Pascoe’s favourite celebration when taking a wicket is forming his fingers into a gun shape, “shooting” the air and then blowing on the tips, while saying “The gangsta rap made me do it” - from the video by Ice Cube.


“Yeah, it’s basically from that video. I’m really into gangsta rap, my brother got me into it,” said Pascoe, who played top-grade cricket for Oxford University as well as Australia Capital Territory. “In that video, Ice Cube said ‘gangsta rap made me do it’, and as for my celebrations, gangsta rap made me do it.”


Sangakkara scored his second straight half-century but was happy to give the main award to Pascoe.

“Well, I think he deserved it. To restrict a team like that to 136 with these [small] dimensions [at Mission Road], is a great effort," said the former T20 World Cup winner.


Kaitak got off to a slow start and lost Anshuman Rath in the sixth over after he was bowled by Imran Arif.

Gladiators kept picking up wickets regularly with Arif and James Franklin taking three each and Pascoe grabbing two.


England’s Ravi Bopara was Kaitak’s most successful batsman, scoring 37 off 30 balls while opener Kyle Coetzer hit 24 off 28. Kaitak have two wins and two losses from their four matches.


In the second match, Jaguars scored a challenging 187 for three in their 20 innings with Johan Botha hitting 86 not out and captain Kinchit Shah making 65.


United were never in the running after losing early wickets, finishing on 130 all out in 19.2 overs.


United will face last year’s winners Kowloon Cantons in the final pool game on Sunday in the battle for third place (10.00am).


Jaguars’ Darren Sammy, a two-time World Cup-winning captain, said he was happy to let Hong Kong’s Kinchit Shah skipper the side.


“It’s not my team. They have a captain, Kinchit Shah is doing a very good job and we are in the final,” said Sammy.


“Whatever team I am in, whether I’m captain or not, I will still play a leadership role.


“That’s why I’m here, to have an impact, whether it would be with my performance or in the dressing room. I try to do my best.”


Gates open tomorrow at 9.00am. Tickets may be purchased via ticketflap or on the door at Mission Road (Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground).