27 September 2019
Match 10 – Pakistan Association Cricket Club vs Kowloon Cricket Club
Sunday 29th September 2019 – Kowloon Cricket Club – 2:00 PM start
The final round of the CHK Premier League T20 is upon us, and while USRC and HKCC play for pride up at HKCC, PACC and KCC will battle it out in a winner-takes-all clash at Cox Road! A month of Premier League T20 cricket all boils down to this final game, and it promises to be a cracker!
Both sides enter this game unbeaten, picking up a series of emphatic victories along the way. KCC have made it look easy, going from strength to strength each game, with an outstanding showing at HKCC last week -inspired by Aizaz Khan- to put themselves in this position. As for PACC, they took the harder path here, with a nailbiter of a win over arch-rivals DLSWCC last Sunday. Nevertheless, their two big wins over USRC and HKCC earlier the tournament ensured that all they needed to do was win the game in order to stay in with a chance to be champions, and a penultimate-ball six by Anas Khan ensured that would be the case.
A chink in the armor of PACC may have been exploited in that game, but it's a small one. Their middle order was tested for the first time in this tournament, and put under sever pressure in pursuit of just 101 runs. But in order to get to the middle order, KCC will first have to make their way through a power-packed top 4, with each of Tanwir Afzal, Ehsan Nawaz, Babar Hayat and Yasim Murtaza putting in some destructive batting performances this far. This explosive batting is backed up by some miserly bowling - Murtaza himself picking up 6 wickets at the incredible economy rate of 2.92 per over with his left arm spin. He is supported well by offspinner Mohammad Ishtiaq (4 wickets at 3.10 per over) and young seamer Nusrullah Rana (5 wickets at 4.5 per over), while skipper Tanwir Afzal himself has gone at just slightly above 6 an over.
The bowling attack will have their work cut out of them against KCC's top three of Nizakat Khan, Aizaz Khan and Jamie Atkinson. Nizakat and Aizaz have put on fifty-run opening partnerships in all three of their games thus far, and along with Atkinson have scored a whopping 82% of all the runs scored by KCC in this competition. And while KCC's bowling may not match PACC in terms of economy rate, they are every bit as well rounded - legspinner Waqas Barkat leading the way with 6 wickets, while Aizaz Khan, Daniel Pascoe, Ateeq Iqbal and Jay Davidson have all picked up 4 wickets apiece. KCC also have the advantage of playing at home, and are a notoriously tough side to beat on home turf.
In terms of decisions at the toss - PACC have chased, and done so successfully, in all three games thus far, while KCC have managed wins batting first and chasing. It is safe to expect that PACC will look to field first if they win the toss, while it will be interesting to see what KCC does if Atkinson calls correctly. Both sides come into this game with top-heavy batting lineups and well rounded bowling attacks - a lot could ride on the powerplay overs in each innings.
This exciting match-up will be live broadcast across our social media channels, so be sure to tune in on our Facebook and YouTube pages! Live scores for this game will also be available on Cricinfo and CricHQ, with regular score updates being provided of the game at HKCC, so be sure to tune in to the action and show your support!
- Nitesh Hemlani