06 September 2019
Match 2 – Diasqua Little Sai Wan Cricket Club DLIT vs Hong Kong Cricket Club
Sunday 8th September 2019 – Hong Kong Cricket Club – 1:30 PM start
After a successful start to the season last Sunday, the CHK Premier League T20 competition now enters week two, with two games scheduled for each Sunday from now through till the end of the month. The first game of this weekend will be at the Hong Kong Cricket Club, where the hosts and defending champions will take on DLSW DLIT.
Last season the Hong Kong Cricket Club managed to achieve a perfect 4 wins out of 4 games, under the leadership of veteran offspinner Isaac Poole. While the captain and the core of the squad remains the same, they will be without star batsman Nizakat Khan -transferred to KCC- and reliable veterans Mark Wright and Simon Cook for this season. They will, however, be bolstered by the return of Anshuman Rath, as well as the signing of Ninand Shah, who joins his brother Kinchit in the squad. There will be plenty of spin options for HKCC – Isaac and the Shah brothers are joined by young HK legspinner/left arm orthodox spinner (yes, he bowls both) Jhata Subramanyan, former Durham spinner Ryan Buckley, and former MCC Young Cricketer’s legspinner Luke Jones. The pace attack will be built around current Hong Kong squad member Tanveer Ahmed, former HK squad member Adil Mehmood, and Cathay Pacific Pilot Tom Ingram, with veteran club seamer Martin Versfeld rounding off the attack.
When it comes to the batting, Anshuman and Kinchit are expected to be the mainstays – the HK National Squad duo both likely to be key players when HK takes part in the World T20 Qualifiers later this year. Luke Jones topped the Sunday League runscoring charts last season and, along with keeper-batsmen David Jacquier and Rory Caines, will be looking to make an impact at this level of cricket. Benjamin Zanol is likely to open the batting, and young HK prospect Raag Kapur could feature in the middle order, with the likes of Buckley, Ingram and Ninand all pressing for an opportunity to show off their batting credentials as well.
As for DLSW DLIT, they had a disappointing season in 2018-19 – managing to pick up only one win out of their four games. However, they have persisted with their squad of youngsters, and will hope that their performances this season will reflect on the experience and skills they’ve gained in the past year. Experienced Hong Kong spinner Ehsan Khan is likely to lead the team, with former Hong Kong veteran Munir Dar by his side. The two of them are the only players above the age of 30 in the whole squad, with the next oldest being 25-year old legspinner Ghazanfar Mohammad!
Much like HKCC, DLSWCC strength lies in their spin bowling – Ehsan Khan, Ghazanfar Mohammad, Aftab Hussain and Mohammad Hassan having all played for HK as frontline spin bowlers at various levels, with spin-bowling allrounder Mehran Zeb also in the mix. Young HK quick bowler Haroon Arshad will lead the pace attack, alongside a pair of left-arm seamers in Mohsin Khan and Dhananjay Rao, with allrounders Farhan Khan and Urslan Abdul providing depth to the squad. The batting will rely heavily on wicketkeeper Shahid Wasif and young upcoming batsman Waqas Khan – both of whom have put in some fine performances in HK colours in the past few months. Munir Dar and Ehsan Khan will both shore up the middle order with their big hitting and experience, while young batsman Ibrahim Ishaq will probably be called upon at the top of the order.
The youth in the DLSW DLIT squad cannot be understated, with 8 of the 16-man squad being under 21 years of age. Four of them are coming off a successful ACC U19 Eastern Region 2019 this past July, and it will be interesting to see how they go against a powerhouse like HKCC. Provided the weather co-operates this weekend, this should be an exciting match, and one not to be missed! You can watch it live and for free on our YouTube and Facebook pages, so be sure to tune in! Live scores will be available on CricHQ and Cricinfo.
- Nitesh Hemlani