30 Nov 2018

Under-15 T20 League Finals Review

This Saturday saw the two finals of the U-15 T20 League take place. The Premier Division final was competed between the KCC Typhoons U15 and the DLSW Tigers U15 at Mission Road 9:30 AM, and the Elite Division final between Discovery Bay Smashers Sky and Lantau Lions U15 at GDB 9 AM. There was some excellent cricket on display, and two worthy champions crowned, with KCC and DBS walking away with the trophies.

Premier Division - KCC Typhoons 162/2 (20) beat DLSW Tigers 57/9 (20) by 105 runs – Scorecard

Both teams made it to the finals on the back of upset victories in the semis – the Typhoons avenging their loss to CHK Women in the round robin stage to beat them by 7 wickets, and 4th-placed Tigers pulling off an impressive 8 wicket win over table-toppers PACC in the final over of the game. When these two teams met in the Round Robin stage it was a close affair – the Typhoons emerging victorious by 19 runs.

With all to play for, the Typhoons won the toss and chose to bat first, but got off to a shaky start. A few quite overs followed by a wicket saw them in a spot of bother at 14/1 at 3.1 overs. Step up Aarush Bhagwat. The Hong Kong U-19 wicketkeeper/batsman was unfazed by the loss of his opening partner, and proceeded to take apart the Tiger’s bowling attack, bringing up the first and only century of the U-15 T20 League this season! He brought his 100 up with a single off just 72 deliveries, hitting 8 fours and 5 sixes in the process. He was dismissed one ball after reaching 100, in the 19th over with the score at 154/2. He was supported well at the other end by Ahaan Trivedi with 28*, and the KCC side ended their innings on 162/2. DLSW Tigers’ skipper Pargat Gill was the only bowler to taste success, taking 2/48 in his 4 overs, while Hassan Jat was very economical, giving away just 17 in his 4.

In response, the Typhoons were on the money with the ball and in the field, restricting the Tigers to just 57/9 inside their 20 overs. Kashif Ibraheem took two wickets in his new-ball spell, and Darsh Vora, Oscar Chaplin, Ahaan Trivedi and Krish Jain each took a wicket apiece. Cotter, Arjun Sharma and Ryan Gilkinson each scored a runout, and only Jagraj Singh could cross double digits for the Tigers. An impressive bowling performance to back up Aarush’s splendid 100, and a top performance from this season’s U-15 T20 League Premier Division Champions!

Elite Division – DB Smashers Sky 114/8 (20) beat LCC Lions U15 111/9 (20) by 3 runs - Scorecard

Meanwhile at GDB, the Elite Division Final was being contested between the two table toppers. DBS Sky finished the group stages with 8 points, while Lantau finished 2nd with 6 – ahead of 3rd and 4th only by NRR. The Smashers continued their fine form into their semi-final, with an 81-run win over DLSW Cheetahs U-15, while Lantau edged past HKCC Witherers by 11 runs. Both these sides did not get to face each other in the round-robin stage – Lantau having to forfeit the game due to player availability issues – and so how this game would unfold was anyone’s guess. As it turns out, it was to be a cracker of a final.

After winning the toss Lantau elected to bowl first, but got off to an expensive start – Arnav Saxena picking up a pair of boundaries amongst a series of extras. Eventually Tayyab Gul broke through with the wicket of Devin Reiners –whose 92 earlier in the season was, until Aarush’s century, the highest individual score of this season’s U15 T20 League- in the final over of the PowerPlay. Arnav was joined by Dhiren Peshwani with the score at 34/1, and the pair proceeded to put on 49 runs for the third wicket in 8 overs. They found the fence frequently and rotated the strike well, and were looking set to take DBS to a big score, until Arnav was caught in the deep off Hussain Ziayan’s bowling for a well compiled 43 (45 balls, 6 fours). This sparked a middle order collapse, as DBS went from 83/2 to 104/7 inside 5 overs. Lantau bowled and fielded well to pull the game back, and after conceding 9 boundaries to the pair of Saxena and Peshwani (27 off 30 balls, 3 fours), only conceded one more for the remainder of the innings. Kharel Samir was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4/18 in a 3 over spell, and Tayyab Gul chipped in with 2 wickets and a run-out as well. DBS finished on 114/8, setting Lantau the gettable target of 115 to win the U15 T20 Elite Division final.

They got off to a solid start in the run chase – Muhammad Sudais and Tayyab Gul seeing off the good deliveries and cashing in on the bad ones to take 28 runs off the first 5 overs. Arnav Saxena was introduced into the attack and struck right away, bursting through Sudais’ defence to clean bowl him, bringing skipper Shazeb Mohammad to the crease. Together Shazeb and Tayyab negotiated the bowling to the drinks break, taking their side to 55/1 in 10 overs, and the game was still in the balance.

First over after the break signalled Lantau’s intent to get on with the chase, and the batsmen managed 11 off it until a mix-up on the final ball saw Tayyab get run-out for 35 (35 balls, 5 fours). But Lantau motored on, and after 13 overs they were 84/2 – 3 runs ahead of DBS at the same stage, having lost just 1 wicket more. With 31 to win in the final 7 overs, DBS needed something special to turn things around.

And that’s when Aryan Pendse struck, bowling Khan Qasim first ball of the 14th over. He then ran out Bhudev Reyansh last ball of the 17th, and in between those dismissals, Devin Reiners had run out Aaditya Kumar. Suddenly in the space of 4 overs Lantau had lost 3 wickets for 19 runs. With 11 to win in 3 overs and 5 wickets in hand, Lantau were still ahead, but things were now getting tight. The 18th over yielded just 4 runs, bringing the equation down to 7 to win in the final two overs.

That’s when Rishi Shah delivered the blows that would finally turn the game towards DBS’s favour once and for all. He hit the stumps in consecutive delivery, and ended up bowling a double wicket maiden in the 19th over. This was the only maiden over of the entire game, and it could not have come at a better time for his side. With 7 to defend in the final over, the momentum was back with DBS, and this showed in the field. Sameen Dar conceded just two singles in the first two balls, after which Arnav Chandiramani scored a runout as the batsmen tried to come back for 2nd run. He then scored another runout, this time at the opposite end, finally dismissing the skipper Shazeb for a hard fought 26 (40 balls, 1 four). With 5 to win Sameen Dar beat the bat of the number 11 twice, and secured an unlikely come from behind victory for DB Smashers in the progress!

And exciting days cricket for two exciting leagues, we would like to thank the clubs involved for their support and participation.