10 November 2020
DLSW DLIT 161/5 in 20 overs (Ehsan Khan 72*, Shan Raja 4-0-29-2) beat USRC 121/6 in 20 overs (Umar Muhammad 51, Tanveer Ahmed 4-0-28-3) by 40 runs
Over at Tin Kwong Road Recreational Ground, Match 8 of the #PLT20 got underway 30 minutes earlier than Match 7, due to a small last-minute change to our schedule! DLSW skipper Ehsan Khan won the toss and chose to bat first. Dhananjay Rao was rested from the Little Sai Wan side, probably due to his hamstring injury from last weekend, and was replaced by batsman Ikram Hussain. For USRC, Shahid Wasif missed out due to injury, which meant that young allrounder Zakir Hayat returned to the XI. USRC started well with the ball, with left arm spinner Shan Raja trapping Ibraheem Ishaq LBW in the 2nd over! He and fellow left arm spinner Ehsan Muhmmad conceded just 12 runs from their 3 powerplay overs, which meant that Waqas Khan and Ehsan Ayaz could only manage 29 runs at the end of it, despite hitting a four and two sixes! Ehsan Ayaz broke the shackles a bit in the 7th over, hitting Sheryar Khan for a four and a six, but the quick bowler got his revenge, dismissing Ayaz on the final ball of the over! This brought Ehsan Khan out to the middle, and he and Waqas consolidated, taking DLSW to 53/2 at the halfway stage. Imran Arif brought himself on for his first over and struck right away, dismissing Waqas Khan caught behind for 25! Ehsan hit a couple of boundaries, and Imran bowled an 11-ball over, before Shan Raja struck again to dismiss Ikram Hussain. DLSW 87/4 in 14 overs, with Ehsan on 21*. This is when the DLSW skipper took control of the game. He hit a six off the final ball of the 15th over to take DLSW past 100, and then got stuck into the USRC death bowlers, pummelling them for 48 runs in the final 4 overs to take his side to 156/5 in their 20 overs! He finished on 72* off just 43, and was greeted with more good news once he got off the field – USRC’s slow overrate meaning an additional 5 runs were added to DLSW’s score as a penalty, taking them to 161! USRC, after having bowled well at the start, lost the way a bit in the final few overs, and now faced a steep chase for their first ever PLT20 victory.
With a highest score of 143 in their PLT20 history, USRC would need a couple of outstanding contributions from their batters to pull off this chase. Imran Arif and Umar Mohammad started brightly, taking 26 runs from the first 4 overs, bowled by Mohsin Khan and Aftab Hussain. Tanveer Ahmed was introduced first change, and he struck first ball, dismissing Imran for 11! Umar Mohammad found the fence in that over, and Skhawat Ali hit Ehsan for a 6 to close out the powerplay, with USRC on 41/1 – 12 runs ahead of DLSW at the same stage! The pair took USRC past 50, but Mohsin Khan’s reintroduction into the attack in the 9th over led to the dismissal of Skhawat – caught behind for 9. Despite that USRC were head of DLSW at the halfway stage – 61/2, needing a further 100 in the back 10 overs. Umar Mohammad found the fence a couple of more times and brought up his 50 off 38 balls in the 14th over. But at the other end DLSW were keeping things tight against Akbar Khan, and USRC entered the final 6 overs needing another 77 runs to win. This would prove to be a hurdle too high for them to cross – Umar Mohammad perished trying to take on Ehsan Khan, and Tanveer struck twice in the 17th over. USRC failed to hit a boundary between overs 13 and 18, leaving themselves needing 64 runs from the final 2 overs. Ultimately, they would fall 40 runs short of the target, ending their innings on 121/6. A comfortable win for DLSW – their first of the tournament – while USRC slip to 0 from 3 and are out of the running for a spot in the final. All they have left to play for is pride against HKCC next weekend, and both DLSW and PACC will be playing close attention to that game – a USRC win opening up the possibility for either side to make the final on 22nd November!
- Nitesh Hemlani