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CHK Joint-U Tapeball Cricket Sixes 2021-22 (Season 3) - Review

08 November 2021

CHK Joint-U Tapeball Cricket Sixes 2021-22 (Season 3)
Date – 7th November 2021
Venue – PKVR Reservoir Ground

The 3rd edition of the CHK Joint-U Tapeball Cricket Sixes was held early in the 2021-22 season, just 6 months after the 2nd edition. All 6 teams from earlier in the year took part again, and they were joined by a new 7th team! A CHK Invitational Team was put together for this competition, consisting of students from various VTC colleges in Hong Kong. This was an initiative put forward to get VTC students involved in the tournament, with the aim of eventually getting a recognized VTC team to participate.

With 7 teams a different structure to the previous seasons was put in place. The top four teams from last season were directly entered into KO matches for 3 spots in the semi-finals. Defending champions CityU were drawn against 4th place CUHK, while runners-up HKU were up against 3rd place HKUST. The winners of these games proceeded directly to the semifinals, while the losers then played each other for the 3rd semifinal spot. PolyU, HSUHK and the CHK Invitational side were put together in a single group and played each other once, with the top side from the group taking the 4th semifinal spot.

HKUST were the first team to book a spot in the semifinals, beating HKU by 10 runs in the opening game! Defending champions CityU then piled on 137 against CUHK, beating them by 67 runs to take the 2nd spot! HKU and CUHK then played out a thrilling play-off match. CUHK scored 75 batting first, but HKU chased it well, and needed only 10 to win in the final over of the game. Rishi Bhanderi held his nerve, taking a wicket first ball, conceding just 6 off the next 4, and the completing a runout on the final delivery to help CUHK secure a dramatic 1 run win!

Meanwhile in Group C both the PolyU and CHK Invitational teams picked up victories over a much-improved HSUHK team, leading to a virtual quarter-final match between the two sides. Noman Safdar hit 32 for the invitational team as they posted 82 batting first. PolyU started poorly at 17/3 after 7 balls, but plenty of extras and 23* from Mughees Ahmed helped them take the game into the final over. They still needed 22 to win, but the wides and no-balls continued, and after 9 deliveries PolyU needed just 1 more with 2 legal balls to come. The bowler hit his mark for a dot ball, and a smart runout by the keeper on the final ball meant that the game ended on a tie – only the 2nd ever in Joint U Sixes history! With both sides even on points, it was PolyU’s batting efforts against HSUHK that proved decisive. They hit 125 runs in their 5 overs, giving them a significantly better NRR than the CHK Invitational team and thus helping them move on to the semifinals!

Action shot from the PolyU vs CHK Invitational team match

The first semi-final was between HKUST and CUHK. CUHK elected to bat first and scored 86/5. In response, HKUST lost 4 players for 1st ball ducks, but a brilliant 60* off 18 balls from Muhammad Ajmal Khan kept them in the chase! They entered the final over still needing 25 runs to win, and Ajmal hit the first 3 balls for 2-4-6 leaving them needed 13 off the back 3. Unfortunately, there was to be no come-from-behind miracle for HKUST. The next two balls were a dot and a 2, and a final-ball 6 just served to narrow the margin of victory. CUHK pulled off their 2nd win in a row, and qualified for their 2nd final in 3 seasons of the Joint-U Sixes!

The second semi-final was between PolyU and CityU. Electing to bat first, PolyU could only manage 61/3 in their 5 overs. PolyU started the 2nd innings strong – skipper Ikram Sattar conceding just 3 in the opening over – but ultimately, they just didn’t have enough runs. CityU skipper Muhammad Ahmad – who had conceded just 5 from his over and took 2 good catches in the deep – hit 35 retired off 16 balls as his side got over the line with 4 wickets and 4 balls to spare.

Therefore the 3rd edition of the Joint-U Tapeball Cricket Sixes saw the Season 1 champs CUHK play against the Season 2 champs in CityU, with both teams eyeing their 2nd title in 3 seasons. CityU batted first and scored 86, with the two captains (Ahmad with 26 off 6, Jayaweera with 1-0-4-1) leading from the front. CUHK started brightly in the chase with 23 in the first over but could only manage 7 runs in the 2nd. CityU bowled well to their fields and focused on limiting the boundaries, while the CUHK boys ran hard and kept themselves in the game up till the very end. They needed 26 to win in the final over but could only manage 19, finishing on 80/0 – just 7 runs shot of victory. CityU were impressive yet again, defending their title and pulling off back to back victories in the Joint-U Tapeball Cricket Sixes!

2021-22 CHK Joint-U Tapeball Cricket Sixes Champions - City University of Hong Kong!

The top performers from the tournament were Muhammad Ahmad of CityU (highest MVP points with 18.02, and leading run-scorer with 93 runs in 29 balls), Suryansh Manav of CUHK (leading wicket-taker with 5 wickets for 64 runs) and Debargha Das of CUHK (3 catches + 3 runout assists).

Full Scorecard and Results can be found here:

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