28 October 2020
HKCC vs KCC
KCC 138/7 in 19.1 overs (Aizaz Khan 81*, Luke Jones 4-0-36-3) beat HKCC 137/9 in 20 overs (Luke Jones 46*, Ahan Trivedi 3/22) by 3 wickets
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Another sunny afternoon greeted us at the Hong Kong Cricket Club, where the hosts once again won the toss and elected to bat first. There were no fireworks from Martin Coetzee this time around though – the centurion from last weekend dismissed on the very first ball, caught behind off Jason Davidson! The best possible start for KCC somehow got even better, when Adit Gorawara cut the last ball of the over straight to the fielder at cover, leaving the hosts reeling at 0/2 at the end first over! Ninad and Kinchit Shah had to rebuild, and the first boundary only came in the 4th over, with Kinchit driving Aizaz down to long on. Ninad then took on Davidson in the 5th, with two sixes and a boundary to backward square leg, and he then picked up a boundary and four leg byes down to the same region off Dan Pascoe in the 8th. It seemed like HKCC were beginning to recover, but that’s when Ashley Caddy struck, getting Kinchit to miscue a lofted drive down the ground straight to Davidson at long-on! Ninad picked up another pair of boundaries to square leg immediately following his brother’s dismissal, and after 9 overs HKCC were 54/3, with wicketkeeper Rory Caines the new batter at the crease. 16-year old offspinner Ahan Trivedi was then tossed the ball, on a hattrick after having taken 2 wickets in 2 balls against USRC last weekend. The young offie’s dream run in the #PLT20 continued, as Ninad sliced him straight to point first ball, giving him a hattrick the in the first three balls he’s ever bowled at Premier League level! A historic accomplishment by the youngster that is unlikely to ever be matched! The offspinner’s taste for success continued, as he picked up the wickets of Martin Versfeld (caught long-on) and Rory Caines (with a brilliant caught and bowled) in the first two balls of his next over! He nearly completed yet another hattrick, with Haroon Arshad defending the third ball in the air and just short of Trivedi’s outstretched hands. But the damage had already been done – HKCC were 61/6 after 12 overs and struggling. Haroon and Buckley tried to consolidate, but then Haroon picked out Pascoe at deep midwicket when trying to break the shackles, and at 68/7 in 14.1 overs there was serious if the hosts could even cross 100. Enter Luke Jones. The southpaw demonstrated the kind of form that saw him top the Sunday League run scoring charts in 2018-19, opening his account with a powerful drive down the ground for 4. He then hit Trivedi for a 4 and a 6 in the 16th, picked up a 6 off Caddy in the 17th, and another 6 off Pascoe in the 18th. Meanwhile Ryan Buckley picked up sixes off both the spinners, and a boundary off Pascoe as well, as overs 16 to 18 yielded 44 runs for the hosts! Buckley fell to Pascoe final ball of the 18th, but Luke picked up three boundaries off Aizaz in the final over the innings to take HKCC to 137/9 in their 20 overs – Jones finishing on 46* off just 24 balls. A competitive score, especially given KCC only managed 141 against USRC the week before!
HKCC needed early wickets in the second innings, and after a few overs of pace from Adil and Haroon they turned to the offspin of HK vice-captain Kinchit Shah. Kinchit delivered right away, dismissing Rory Cox first ball of the 4th over, bowled through the gate. Elliot Scrivener then brought himself on next over, making it spin from both ends, and added the wicket of Jamie Atkinson last ball of the 5th, caught well by Haroon at square leg. Another tight over followed, and at the end of the powerplay KCC were 21/2. Aizaz Khan was joined by Simandeep Singh, and the pair entered a period of consolidation – only 33 runs came off the next 6 overs, with Luke Jones and Martin Versfeld both entering the attack. With the required RR creeping up to above 10 it was Luke Jones who broke through, dismissing Simandeep LBW in the 13th over! Waqas Barkat and Chris Carter both came and went, each hitting a six before being dismissed by Luke Jones - Waqas with the score at 75 and Chris at 97. Aizaz, however, remained unphased. Having hit Luke for a six just two balls prior to Carter’s dismissal, he then proceeded to end the over with another 3 sixes in a row, hit to three different parts of the ground! The 17th over had just gone for 25 runs, and just like that the equation had been reduced to 23 to win in the final 3 overs. This was the 2nd game in a row where the chasing side had targeted Luke’s bowling, and within the space of an over Aizaz had gone from 38 off 36 to 63 off 41! With Jason Davidson in the middle and just the KCC lower order to come, HKCC still had hope of clawing their way back in the game, but Aizaz would go on to shut that out. He hit Haroon Arshad for for a six and a four in the 18th to bring the RRR down to less than a run a ball, and then pinged another six off Kinchit in the 19th to effectively kill off the chase. Even though both Davidson and Dan Pascoe were dismissed in that over, Aizaz had managed to retain strike with 3 to win in the final over. He took a single first ball off Haroon, exposing Ashley Caddy to the young speedster, but there was to be no final twist in the game. Haroon sprayed the next two balls wide down legside to the left-hander, bring an exciting match to an anticlimactic end. KCC emerging victorious by 3 wickets in a hard fought game!
- Nitesh Hemlani